The Disposal of the Mentally Abnormal
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The Disposal of the Mentally Abnormal book
Most of what follows is written with adult offenders in mind. It is comparatively rare for juvenile offenders to be dealt with by procedures. As a result of the recommendations of the Percy Commission, law controlling the administration of mental hospitals and admission and discharge of their patients has been greatly simplified by the Mental Health Act, 1959. In the language of the statute, 'mental disorder' is the generic term which includes 'mental illness, arrested or incomplete development of mind, psychopathic disorder, and any other disorder or disability of mind'. Mentally abnormal juveniles can be made subject to a hospital or a guardianship order by a juvenile court, either as a result of criminal procedure or as a result of social procedure. This chapter demonstrates the ways in which the mental abnormality of an offender may affect his disposal are extremely varied, and not even the Mental Health Acts have combined them into a systematic whole.