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Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice

Mental Health Law: Policy and Practice (4th edn)

Peter Bartlett and Ralph Sandland
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date: 25 September 2023

8. Mental Disorder and Criminal Justicelocked

8. Mental Disorder and Criminal Justicelocked

  • Peter BartlettPeter BartlettNottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust Professor of Mental Health Law, University of Nottingham
  •  and Ralph SandlandRalph SandlandAssociate Professor in Law, University of Nottingham


This chapter examines the powers of criminal courts to make a mental health-based disposal rather than relying on the options available within the criminal justice and penal system when faced with a mentally disordered person accused or convicted of a crime. It considers the practical shape of diversion policy, in terms of a series of decisions made by criminal courts, at the various stages of the criminal process, as to whether an accused or convicted person should remain within the criminal justice system or instead be diverted into the mental health system.

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