Mental Health and the Canadian Criminal Code Persuasive Essay by scribbler

Mental Health and the Canadian Criminal Code
A critical look at the past and present of Canadian penal policies regarding mental health and criminality.
# 152503 | 738 words | 3 sources | APA | 2013 | US

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The paper looks at the handling of mental health issues in the Canadian criminal justice system and describes the violations of basic human rights that occurred prior to the passage of Bill C-30. The paper then discusses how despite Bill C-30's reassessment of handling mental health problems in the criminal justice system, prisons have still effectively become "warehouses" for those with mental disorders due to a lack of funding for adequate psychiatric care facilities. The paper argues that the means to protect society while also serving the interests of the mentally disturbed must be developed.

From the Paper:

"Prior to 1992 and the passage of Bill C-30, when insanity or mental defect was found to be a mitigating or even an absolving factor in an act of criminality the person found to be mentally unhealthy was officially given over to the custody of the lieutenant governor, with no rules in place for the treatment, imprisonment, or release of such individuals (Peterson 2005). This handling of mental health issues in the criminal justice system constituted both a gross violation of basic human rights for the inmates, and also created inefficiencies in the protections offered to society by the current state of the penal policy.
"While Bill C-30 did not redefine mental illness or even change the standards of culpability based on mental health that have existed since the nineteenth century, the bill did reconcile the treatment of those found to have mental disorders that have been charged or convicted of a crime with the provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Peterson 2005). This charter guarantees certain basic rights of freedom and due governmental process in criminal proceedings, and the specific provision of the penal policy that allowed for the indeterminate and indiscriminate imprisonment of those with mental disorders accused or convicted of a crime was found to be in direct violation of three specific provisions of the Charter (Peterson 2005)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • CBC. (2005). "Number of prisoners with mental illness on upswing." Accessed 11 June 2010.
  • CMHA. (2010). "Social Inclusion/Social Capital." Canadian mental health association. Accessed 11 June 2010.
  • Peterson, K. (2005). "Background." Excerpted form The Northwest Territories Mental Disorder Review Board: Report to the Honourable Charles Dent, Minister of Justice, Government of the Northwest Territories. Accessed 11 June 2010.

Cite this Persuasive Essay:

APA Format

Mental Health and the Canadian Criminal Code (2013, February 26) Retrieved March 05, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Mental Health and the Canadian Criminal Code" 26 February 2013. Web. 05 March. 2024. <>