Mental Illness, Police Power Interventions, and the Expressive Functions of Punishment

53 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2012  

Robert F. Schopp

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - College of Law

Date Written: September 26, 2012

Abstract

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.

Keywords: criminal punishment, expressive functions, mental illness

Suggested Citation

Schopp, Robert F., Mental Illness, Police Power Interventions, and the Expressive Functions of Punishment (September 26, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2164300 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2164300

Robert F. Schopp (Contact Author)

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - College of Law ( email )

103 McCollum Hall
P.O. Box 830902
Lincoln, NE 68583-0902
United States

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