Ethical Obligations And Mental Illness

The criminal justice field is flooded with ethical dilemmas, such as those surrounding the death penalty, law enforcement’s use of force, and mental illness. Offenders with current or past indicators of mental illness make up a high percentage of those incarcerated in the United States. However, according to Bronson and Berzofsky (2017), only about a third of these individuals are being treated for their mental health concerns while in prison.

As a professional in the criminal justice field, you may experience times when your personal ethics don’t align with the system’s practices—and times when they do. In this Discussion, you determine where you stand on the issue of mental health treatment for offenders.

By Day 3 of Week 4


  • Explain your position on the following statement, either in agreement or in opposition:
    • The criminal justice system has an ethical obligation to rehabilitate or treat offenders suffering from mental illness.

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