M5D2: Sentencing Options for the Mentally III

M5D2: Sentencing Options for the Mentally III

Often, the seriously mentally ill in our nation are more likely to be incarcerated than hospitalized, although due process advocates argue that deinstitutionalization would allow the mentally ill to have the same rights and freedoms as others; however, others argue this is not a simple one-size-fits all issue. Judges at all levels of our court system often struggle with this sort of sentencing decision, relying heavily on the findings of the pre – sentence report. Pre-sentence investigators attempt to define the defendants illness and weigh it to the particular crime when suggesting sentencing recommendations, but, ultimately, the sentencing decision rests with the judge, and both society and the defendant must endure any unintended consequences that may arise from the sentencing decision, as presented in the following video.

Before responding to the discussion question:

View the video, The Released: Downside of Deinstitutionalization (Links to an external site.) [Video File][01 Min 53 Sec] https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/released/
After reading the assignments and lectures and viewing the PowerPoint presentation and the video above, you have a better understanding of the difficulty in choosing the correct approach and treatment when rendering a sentence upon a seriously mentally ill defendant. For this discussion, address the following topic:

If you were a pre-sentence officer, discuss your reasons and the sentencing options you might recommend to the judge in the case of a seriously mentally ill defendant, ensuring that both the publics and the defendants rights are protected.
After your initial post, read and reply to at least TWO other postings made by your classmates with substantial responses that further the discussions. Remember to read and reply to questions from your instructor.

Keep the following in mind when making your posts to the discussion area:

Did you complete all of the elements required in your initial discussion post?
Did you respond to the initial posts of at least two of your fellow students?
Did you acknowledge those who responded to you, including questions from your instructor?
Were all of your posts made on time? That is, was your initial post made before Midnight Eastern Time on Thursday, and were your follow-up posts made before Midnight Eastern Time on Sunday.
Consult the Discussion Posting Guide for information about writing your discussion posts. It is recommended that you write your post in a document first. Check your work and correct any spelling or grammatical errors.

This is a post first discussion forum, which means you must submit your initial post before you can view other students posts.

When you are ready to make your initial post, click on “Reply.” Then copy/paste the text into the message field, and click Post Reply.

To respond to a peer, click Reply beneath her or his post and continue as with an initial post.


This discussion will be graded using the SPS Default Discussion Rubric. Please review this rubric, located on the Rubrics page within the Start Here module of the course, prior to beginning your work to ensure your participation meets the criteria in place for this discussion. All discussions combined are worth 20% of your final course grade.







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