Instructor(s) Van Rybroek, Gregory
This course would include issues such as voluntary and involuntary civil commitment and the arc of its history to where legal standards are today; competency and restoration to competency issues for criminal defendants; the insanity defense and its history, its standards, and its place in our society today; the right to refuse psychiatric treatment and ramifications of such laws; social science research in law such as eyewitness memory, jury decision-making, interrogation and confession evidence; the regulation of the mental health system and its positives and negatives. The course would have a 'Law in Action' approach, using examples and experience of persons and professionals in the 'real world' impacted by mental illness and surrounding legal issues (such as when criminal behavior involves a mental health component). The course would introduce students to the cases, statutes, and legal doctrines related to rights, treatment, and hospitalization and incarceration of mentally ill or developmentally disabled persons. In total, the course would lean toward understanding how the those with mental illness receive a disposition when entangled in the legal system, and why. Finally, with exploration of the inter-relationships between law and mental disabilities, students will be expected to understand the trajectory of law and social changes involving mental health issues and consider how they might deal with such cases in future legal practice or policymaking activities.