The Mental Capacity of the Offenders

            Are all delinquents created equal? Indeed there are myriad levels of criminal activity that land offenders in jail, with a percentage of those criminlas committing their crimes under the duress of mental illness These prisoners, while deserving of severe punishment, often do not have full control of their faculties. These orphans of society are often compelled by an emotional or mental imbalance that provokes them to act savagely toward their fellow human beings.

             Many prisoners that are in jail have been convicted of crimes far beyond their control. Although some blame must be taken, many suffer from acute mental disorders1 It is estimated that over 38% of inmates who are now incarcerated suffer from some type of mental illness, with schizophrenia leading the list2. Schizophrenia is often misdiagnosed by those who are running evaluations on the prisoners at the time of punishment. It is often seen as "temporary insanityā€¯ by many psychologists.

             One might assert the fact that all these people need is treatment, not prison3. Psychiatric help is in order for these repeat assault offenders, not a lifetime behind bars where the taxpayers' money is not put to good use. By placing the criminals into long-term therapy, there is at least a small chance of rehabilitation that would not be present in a full security prison. Finding ways by which inmates can be treated is the first step in winning this battle.

             IQ tests are ways in which criminal behavior is now being studied4. By examining these tests and determining the scores of these tests, psychologists are better able to determine whether or not a criminal was mentally handicapped at the time of the incident. By going to these extremes many can now see the second guessing many government officials are doing in regards to capital punishment of the mentally challenged.

             Mnay have propositioned that the punishment should fit the mental capacity of the offender5 .

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