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.
This chapter examines the role of the police, both as agents of the criminal justice system and as agents of the mental health system. It discusses the policy of diversion; police encounters with mentally disordered persons; the diversion of mentally disordered criminal suspects into an investigative regime with greater safeguards than are ordinarily implemented; and the meaning of ‘absent without leave’.
This chapter explores the founding principles, operational functioning and impact of the institutions which have evolved across the four nations in the United Kingdom to deal with children and young people who come into conflict with the law. It takes as its principal empirical focus the shifting patterns of control that have emerged over the past twenty years—a period characterized by a persistent disjuncture between normative claims about youth justice, evolving policy discourse, and the impact of youth justice practices on the lives of young people. The chapter concludes by arguing that, unless there is better alignment between these dimensions, justice for children and young people cannot and will never be delivered.