Criminal Justice Administration Research Proposal

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Criminal Justice Administration

Administration of Justice in Cases of Mentally Ill Offenders

Final Project Research Proposal

Administration of Justice in Cases of Mentally Ill Offenders

The objective of this study is to establish the administration of justice to mentality destabilized victims. The null hypothesis in the criminal justice administration states that mental destabilized people are innocent of accusations of any criminal activity. Their violent actions and irresponsible behaviors are triggered by certain circumstance that provokes their mental illnesses. In order to attain the goal in this study, the research has incorporated a quantitative study. The study involves the use of statistical data on various cases done in the past on mentally disturbed convicts. The quantitative study is meant to reveal patterns of judicial proceedings, which will lead to conclusions and potential outcomes, which will lay strong evidence to support the thesis. A survey research is done to determine the position and opinion of the people about the conviction of mentally disturbed people. Both quantitative and survey research reveal that most mentally disturbed persons are convicted without a fair trial while ignoring the symptoms of untreated mental health. This study develops clear knowledge and gives distinct evidence to transparency of the judicial system.

Criminal Justice Administration and mentally ill offenders


The mentally ill offenders are a category of defendants who require significant attention. Mental illness is defined as the disruption in a person's, mood, thinking, ability to relate to others, feelings, and daily functioning. Mentally ill people cannot discern right from wrong, and often act under pressure, which is driven from their mental instability. These individuals act violently and break laws due to the effect of their mental disturbance. They are individuals that call for medical attentions in order to recover from their illnesses. Nonetheless, these people have long been denied such opportunities and ended up in jail with other normal people. The worst happens when they engage in dangerous and violent fights with prison mates that lead to fatal accidents and occurrences (Jaffe, 2011).

Administration of justice in criminal accusations concerning mentally disturbed people has been neglected for many years. Mentally disturbed individuals have slim chances in receiving fair trials under the current judicial system. It is evident that many people with such symptoms of emotional instability end up with sudden violent incidences, which render them vulnerable to criminal offences. However, these people do not receive the chance of proving their innocence during such acts. Instead, such offenders are judged equally or even more harshly as compared to offender with normal emotional status.

Criminal justice administration is imperative to the implementation of justice and enhancing order in the society. A critical study on the criminal justice administration highlights all the protocols and procedures used to ensure justice. This research highlights the participation of judicial professionals in the courts and prisons. The criminal justice system cannot prevail without fair contributions and ruling of various cases brought before the jury and judges. In this regard, studying this subject matter stands as, an eye opener to understand the various outcomes and of criminal cases in the past, present, and predicts future outcomes.

Past studies done on this subject matter have revealed that mental illness people were arrested more often than those without a mental illness were. Researchers in their study pointed out that the methodology of "treatment of their mentally ill offenders was criminal." However, these studies have not pointed out the way forward to improve this situation or make a turn around and ensure justice for such people.

Problem Statement

It is evident that mentally ill individuals have a higher possibility of being arrested than normal offenders. Such individuals are often under internal pressure to act in a given manner, but without rational thinking. Unfortunately, the judicial systems have not considered the emotional disturbance in such people, and judge them without empathy (Moore, 2009). Instead, they are taken behind bars where chance of recovering from such illnesses is slim. The rate of arrests for such defendants is 46.7% while that of defendants with normal mental state is 27.9%. On the other hand, people without mental disability are given full chances to defend themselves before the Law courts. Such convicts are given full rights to having lawyers by their side, unlike the mentally disturbed offender. Hence, their judgment is already given even before trials.

Research question

1. Determine the criteria used to sentence mentally challenged offenders. Why the existing criminal justice systems convicts emotionally disturbed people.

2. Determine whether mentally disturbed defenders are treated equally with emotionally fit offenders.

3. What protocol is followed by the judicial system in judging such defendants?

4. Do the offenders receive their rights to diagnosis and treatment of mental illness

5. What are the risk factors that could worsen mental illness amongst such offenders?

6. What are the methods that can be used to reduce the levels of mental imbalance?

7. Are there any misconceptions that affect the administration of justice in cases involving mentally ill offenders.

Significance of Study

The importance of having such a study cannot be overlooked because the rate at which such offenders are arrested is alarming. Despite the fact that mentally ill people harmed others, it is beneficial to device a means of enhancing recovery from the illness to avoid further harm and ill occurrences.

The study points out various proceedings in the past, which have led to the imprisonments of mentally ill offenders. These findings are meant to incite the discovery of better ways of handling such offenders. Therefore, it was important to carry out the study to ensure that the judicial system has improved its means of judgment while handling such cases.

Literature review

Mentally ill offenders and criminal justice

The research questions still lingers on with many law makers trying to define such a situation as per the laws of the land. It has been a substantial challenge to the jury and judges to determine the final sentence of such people without favoring the offender or neglecting the pain of the victim. A closer look at the picture reveals two distinct sides, which both call for immediate attention to researchers and analysts to determine the line between guilty and innocent in the cases of mentally disturbed offenders (Hartwell, 2004). However, it is imperative to note that such circumstance can be used as a getaway for some offenders if a case is not well investigated.

Insanity defense has been used in the past in courts to defend people who do not take responsibility of their violent acts (Elliot, 1996). Nonetheless, insanity defense is used for people who cannot discern wrong from right doings.


Past researches reveal that up to 75% of mentally ill patient would exhibit signs of violence. Hence, it is worth noting that people should be careful around such individuals. On the other hand, it is fundamental to realize means of protecting the public against such people suffering from mental illnesses. This should be done without hurting them or exposing them to harsh surrounding that may worsen their mental state.

References from other researchers

Other statistics by Chappel (2009) indicate that police often encounter offenders with emotional imbalance. At least 7% of the prisoners are emotionally affected. The negligence shown by members of the police administration, has exposed many prisoners to face rough experiences with jail mates with such illnesses. Hence, it is imperative that the judicial system and criminal justice should step up to confront this matter. Establishing programs in favor of mentally ill prisoners and offender can be a reliable means of containing this matter (Fay, 2002). In the publication Fay, includes violent incidences by David who was emotionally disturbed. He was assisted by joining a program that helped him overcome his condition.

Potas (2002) performed a study on the sentencing of persons with mental disabilities. In his study, he highlights that many people have established distinct a report on different cases of offenders suffering mental disturbance. He highlights that a better means should be identified that can enhance fair judgment for people suffering for emotional and mental disturbances. According to his research, several countries have considered the request of family members to be convicted of crimes found in similar circumstances. In his report, he identifies a means to establish fair trial and judgment as putting such people under medical investigations to determine the mental status.

According to Potas (2002), offenders suffering mental illnesses and intellectual incapacities have the right to a hospital investigation to verify the extent of their mental illnesses. His report highlights a criminal Act that defines mental condition as a disability of the mind. He further discusses that magistrates and judges should have a clear court procedure, which should be used to judge such offenders. In addition, it is fundamental to consider the plea of the offender with mental challenges in order to favor quick recovery, which is a factor of the place where the defendant is locked up (Moore, 2009).

Malone research study (2002) points out several incidences of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Cite This Research Proposal:

APA Format

Criminal Justice Administration.  (2012, August 8).  Retrieved January 19, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Criminal Justice Administration."  8 August 2012.  Web.  19 January 2020. <>.

Chicago Format

"Criminal Justice Administration."  August 8, 2012.  Accessed January 19, 2020.