The Importance Of Trends In The Criminal Justice System

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Unlike any other organization in our country, the criminal justice system has to be the most rigid due to the keeping, enforcing and following of the law. At the same time though, it needs to be the most adaptable or flexible due to the variety and diversity of people and situations that arise throughout our everyday life. This is a balance that is not only difficult to achieve, but is something that should be in constant evaluation in order to keep up with the ever changing trends of the nation. One of the toughest and largest growing trends in the criminal justice system are those who have been diagnosed with a mental illness of some sort. It has been on everyone’s lips at one time or another, and has been saturated throughout the media that anyone who has committed a heinous or evil crime must be insane, crazy, or a raving psychopath. We have seen individuals fight their case be pleading that they are
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The numbers can vary widely and drastically across populations, race, sex and age, and it is all based off of the definition that people want to use in order to achieve what they want out of their research. Brandt (2012) has defined mental illness as, “…currently having or having had within the past year a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders) that are able to meet the diagnose criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.” (Prevalence) She then continues by comparing the amount of people who claim a mental illness or exhibit symptoms of a mental illness against those who are incarcerated and follow the same qualifications. Its stated that in 2010 approximately 20% of adults outside of incarceration had some form of mental illness and 4.8-5% had a serious mental condition. These numbers were gathered through the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (Brandt,

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