Mental Illness, Police Power Interventions, and the Expressive Functions of Punishment
Robert F. Schopp
University of Nebraska at Lincoln - College of Law
September 26, 2012
The state exercises coercive force under the police power to protect the public order, security, and justice. When individuals who manifest significant psychological impairment harm or endanger others, police power interventions can involve several different institutional structures within the criminal justice system or the alternative institution of civil commitment. The analysis presented in this paper draws attention to the significance of the expressive functions of criminal punishment in selecting the most justified institutional structures for police power interventions intended to prevent impaired individuals from harming others. These functions arguably carry important implications for impaired individuals who harm or endanger others, for general categories of impaired individuals, for the public, and for the integrity of the process.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 53
Keywords: criminal punishment, expressive functions, mental illness
Date posted: October 20, 2012