Treating the Mentally Disordered Offender: Society's Uncertain, Complicated, and Changing Views

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1994


An examination of the legal aspects of the treatment of the mentally disordered offender (MDO), results in a clear consensus that the world is indeed a dangerous, confusing, cloud-shrouded place. MDOs may find themselves engulfed by a bewildering system, which although ostensibly devoted to their treatment, appears to provide little actual help. The general public may perceive MDOs as dangerous individuals assigned to a "treatment" system that neither reduces the likelihood of future dangerousness nor protects society from such behavior. Finally, the mental health professional, trying to respond simultaneously to the treatment needs of MDOs and the security needs of the community, may feel required to assume a role which appeases neither, but exposes the therapist to legal attack by both.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Florida State University Law Review, v. 21, no. 3, p. 729-871