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The law in England and Wales on mental health treatment in the community 

The law in England and Wales on mental health treatment in the community
The law in England and Wales on mental health treatment in the community

Jo Beswick

, and Michael Gunn

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date: 28 January 2020

This chapter examines the legal framework for the treatment of the mentally disordered offender in the community in England and Wales. It examines both some of the ideological questions underlying the care of this group and the legal mechanisms within which treatment can be provided. The chapter begins by examining the principle, endorsed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005, that voluntary treatment will usually be the norm, regardless of setting. It then considers exceptions to these norm situations where legally mandated treatment in the community is permitted. In England and Wales, most of these exceptions are to be found in three pieces of legislation: the Mental Health Act 1983, as amended in 2007 to include community treatment orders; the Mental Capacity Act 2005, with its associated Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DOLS); and the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

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