Abstract: There is no single answer to the problem of dangerousness. No society can ever be completely free of the risk of serious harm.
It is stated that demands for public safety are entirely legitimate and have to be taken seriously. It will not do, as with some mental health specialists, to see public safety as an over reaction. (Bean & Phillip, 2001). It is also stated that Therapeutic Jurisprudence is the “study of the role of the law as a therapeutic agent” focussing on “the laws impact on emotional life and psychological wellbeing”.
(Amendola; F. Andrew, 2009). It encourages lawyers to “attempt to create the most beneficial and emotionally satisfactory solution given a particular client’s interest and circumstances”, thus providing a therapeutic outcome. (Amendola; F. Andrew, 2009).
How then do we try and coexist in a society where community protection against “dangerous” mentally ill offenders is paramount but so is the trends towards making legal processes more therapeutic.In this paper I will attempt to discuss the two different trends, even though they are both in such complete conflict. 3 Trend 1: Mentally disordered offenders, by definition are mentally disordered individuals who commit crimes. Dangerous offenders fall under the following categories: Those who are violent offenders, sexually violent offenders, persons with brain damage, and offenders with personality disorders, psychopathic, offenders with major mental disorders or mentally retarded offenders. (Hodgins, S & MullerIsberner, R, 2001).It is important to distinguish the context in which the term “protecting of society” is used. In a general sense protection of society refers to the overall aim of sentencing laws.
Used in relation to individual offenders, ‘protection of society’ takes on the more limited meaning of incapacitating an offender, thus preventing the commission of future offences by that offender. Section 5(1) of the Sentencing Act 1991(VIC) states that protection of the community is one of the purposes for which sentences may properly be imposed.The community has a right to expect protection from those most likely to commit violent and dangerous offences. There is no question that offenders as individuals , have rights but the rights of the community to safety and protection from those we know pose an unacceptable risk is surely greater. At some point, we as a community need to put the best interest of our vulnerable members, our children before the rights of those who harmed them. Is it justifiable to imprison offenders, or even look at continual detention of offender?It is stated in 2007, by the Queensland Minister for Correctional Services, that under the Dangerous Prisoner (Sexual Offenders) Act, that it costs more to supervise dangerous sex offenders in the community than it does to keep them in prison. Courts across Australia have always had the capacity, at the time of sentencing, to provide an indefinite term for prisoners if considered appropriate.
(C, Ranken, 2008). There are copious amounts of cases where offenders have reoffended after they have been released from prison. Take for instance the offender Robert J Fardon Fardon had an extensive criminal history dating.