Criminal law and mental health are closely related as criminal law addresses criminal behaviors and mental health addresses the underlying causes of criminal behavior. Criminal law addresses the behavior of individuals who have committed a crime, while mental health addresses the individual's underlying mental health condition that may have contributed to the criminal behavior.
Individuals with mental health conditions may be more likely to engage in criminal behavior due to symptoms such as impulsivity, aggression, and poor decision-making. Additionally, individuals with untreated or poorly managed mental health conditions may be at greater risk of becoming victims of crime.
Mental health evaluations play an important role in the criminal justice system. They are used to determine an individual's competency to stand trial, as well as to assess an individual's criminal responsibility at the time of the offense.
Competency evaluations assess whether an individual has the ability to understand the charges against them, to assist in their own defense, and to understand the consequences of their actions. If an individual is found incompetent to stand trial, they may be placed in a mental health treatment facility until they regain competency.