Helms School of Government


Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MS)


Christopher Sharp


Alternative Solutions, Criminal Justice System, Mental Illness, Recidivism


Law | Law and Psychology | Law Enforcement and Corrections | Other Law


Mental illness is a prevalent issue and many times individuals diagnosed with a mental illness are repeat offenders within the criminal justice system; therefore, it is important to understand the problems at hand and find ways to handle the problems, or best yet take preventative measures to stop the problems from ever occurring. The literature review and interviews show that the criminal justice system seems to be handling mental illness in the best way possible with the current resources that are available to them. However, the literature review and interviews also show that an increase in resources and training on how to use those resources would strongly benefit both law enforcement and the individuals being treated. The research that has been performed in this study is critical in order to combat this growing epidemic for the safety and well-being of all individuals in society, as well as to be more effective in carrying out the objectives of the criminal justice system. By focusing on ways to decrease recidivism rates and treat the individuals before getting wrapped up in what seems to be an unending cycle of the criminal justice system, it was the goal of this study to educate the reader by providing potential solutions to treatment and prevention for people entrapped by different types of mind-altering diseases and for individuals that become impaired by the symptoms of their illnesses.