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Mental Health proposals insane

Press Release 5th December 2006

Sensible Sentencing Trust Press release:

Mental Health proposals insane

“The latest proposal to release persons found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity into "community care" is yet another example of a social experiment which gambles with peoples lives - the lives of both prospective new victims, and the offenders themselves.

Of course it is right and just in a civilized society that those who, by reason of their mental illness are not responsible for their actions are treated differently from criminals who murder in cold blood. It is also right and just that when mentally ill killers are no longer a threat to society, they should be released into carefully managed care in the community.

The problem is that the "carefully managed care" facilities they need to stay well and remain no threat to society simply are not there. Release into some seedy inner city boarding house with monitoring once a month - if that even happens - is simply a recipe for disaster, and will result in more horrible tragedies like the Burton case.

The sad reality is that in the current state of medical knowledge, “insane" killers can never be cured; their illness can only ever be controlled by drugs and careful monitoring. That simply cannot and will not happen until there are institutions in the community funded and staffed sufficiently to ensure that those released stay well."


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