Psychologists’ Role In Making The Court System Understand Mental Health

There is this belief that people who are mentally ill are usually violent. People assume that these individuals utilize bad habits within the scope of their environment only. With that, there is this idea that the upbringing, mental capability, and emotional strength have nothing to do with the changes in these people’s behavior and thoughts. However, a lot of psychologists explain that the exposure to significant major or dramatic violence is not the only source of these individuals unnerving actions and responses.

Most people say that when somebody allows himself to become a bad person, it is his choice. That whatever he does well, the negativity will only counter the good habit. That is the reason a lot of people think that the person is losing his mind. And with that, people around will assume that he is not psychologically okay. What some of them did not know is that violence has a wide range of behavior associated with different things. These include trauma, physical and sexual abuse, neglect, emotional torture, environmental and social effects, and so on.


How The Court System Proves Justice

Usually, people in the court system understand the ground for convicting a crime or felony. There are reference, evidence, and jury that support the process. There is a constitutional method to follow, and people involved in the case appear to have a chance to know their options. However, there are instances that the system misses out some loopholes. And when that particular thing fails to receive attention, the problem soon begins. Craig Haney, PhD, wrote, “Prisons have become more difficult places in which to adjust and survive over the last several decades.”

Violence And Mental Health

Some of these mentally and emotionally ill individuals who get convicted become more violent. Psychologists explain that it is due to their unwillingness to accept the fault in their selves as well as the judgment of the court system. With that, some of these unwilling people are openly naïve with their hatred and agitation on the people who only follow the jurisdictions of the law. That is the reason why some convicted individuals start to put matters on their own hands. Christian Jarrett, PhD, wrote, “Longer and harsher prison sentences can mean that prisoners’ personalities will be changed in ways that make their reintegration difficult.”


However, with psychologists help, the awareness of mental illness in today’s decision-making now plays a significant role in the court system. That is because the psychological field helps in creating a reliable reference of what a mental disorder can do to an individual alone. With that, these medical professionals can prove that violence created by a convicted person is usually not the entire cause of his unfortunate misbehavior. There is more to what people believe is the reason for a person committing a crime.

Substance Abuse And Violence

A mental disorder associated with substance abuse undoubtedly put a person into an increased risk for violent-act involvement. It has a relationship that connects addiction to support the negative growth of mental illness. Jeffrey A. Schaler, PhD, said, “Many scientists say addicts have literally lost control.” Since the brain of an individual is on a malfunctioned state already when he is addicted to something, environmental and social factors will then become triggering aspects. However, the court system does not guarantee a full understanding of these when it comes to the individual’s reasoning. With that, the conviction becomes accessible, legal, and acceptable. That is especially if the case relates to a person that causes extreme damage to another individual.


The Restrictions

If you have not noticed, there are people with mental illness that happen to commit a crime that gets exempted on conviction. Sometimes, even if the offense is way too damaging and brutal, an individual with a psychological illness receives no substantial punishment at all. That is because psychology can prove in court that some people who commit crime are not dangerous at all, but instead described as a psychologically disturbed individual. With that, instead of severe punishment, the person then receives treatment and medical care. Unfortunately, not all people can understand the court system’s process with regards to that. Not all victims, as well as friends and family of the victim, can easily accept the mental condition as an excuse for the committed crime.


There is not enough reason to validate a person’s brutal actions. The individual must get punished, and he should pay the price of whatever crime he has done. However, when mental disorder becomes a significant part of the whole scenario, the outcome of it changes everything. It sometimes results in less complication, easy access to the justice system, and occasionally turning tables for both sides involved in the case. That is, of course, if the field of psychology, along with the professional experts, can prove the probable mental health basis.

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