Law and the Disordered

An Explanation in Mental Health, Law, and Politics

By (author) George C. Klein

Publication date:

23 December 2010

Length of book:

410 pages



ISBN-13: 9780761847328

In the 1970's, sociologists found that mentally disordered patients were routinely committed to state hospitals. By 2005, state hospital facilities had been emptied and, consequently, the patients for whom they cared for had been shuffled elsewhere by the system. Some of these patients were placed in private hospitals. However, for many, there was no asylum-there was only jail or the street.

How does our legal and mental health system handle the mentally disordered? In Law and the Disordered, George C. Klein presents a revealing survey that explores the system of processing prisoners and patients from arrest to admissions to court. In an investigation spanning over thirty years, Klein examines and evaluates the intersection of law, mental health, and social control. He additionally explores the condition of state level Department's of Mental Health and mental health legislation in an attempt to offer readers a complete picture of the system at work.
As a result of the massive amount of information collected and discussed, Klein's book provides a sustained - and very thorough - examination of an important, under-studied, and growing problem in the United States…. Klein's book provides an invaluable study of the mental health and criminal justice systems and the treatment of mentally ill individuals in Chicago, and has important implications for social policy across the United States. The review of deinstitutionalization, the literature on criminalization of mental illness, and the overview of historical issues in involuntary civil commitment are all impressive and must-reads for those wanting to learn about the historical development of mental health treatment in the mental health and criminal justice systems. I would recommend this book for a variety of advanced undergraduate or graduate-level courses.