Mental Illness, Dangerousness, the Police Power and Risk Assessment
This course will deal with the relationship among mental illness, dangerous behavior, and the police power; the ability of mental health professionals to predict dangerousness; and the significance of risk assessment instruments for a variety of decisions to be made in the legal system. Students will discover how these relationships and concepts “play out” in a variety of settings, including involuntary civil commitments, right to refuse treatment, insanity defense acquittee retention hearings, sex offender status hearings, sentencing cases, death penalty “future dangerousness” inquiries, death penalty mitigation hearings, and Tarasoff (duty to protect) cases in civil law.
This is a predominately online course, requiring students to participate in a weekly chat room, a discussion board, and two day-long weekend live seminars at New York Law School. The grade is based on chat room, discussion board and live seminar participation; a take-home midterm exam; and a take-home final exam.
J.D. prerequisites:: Survey of Mental Disability Law or Advocacy Skills in Cases Involving Persons with Mental Disabilities: the Role of Lawyers and Expert Witnesses or permission of Prof. Michael Perlin, Director, Online Mental Disability Law Program.
M.A. and Certificate pre/co-requisite: Survey of Mental Disability Law