June 24 – August 5, 2023
John Rubin, School of Government
Jane Perkins, Legal Director of the National Health Law Program
While having a mental health diagnosis does not make a person more likely to commit a crime, an overwhelming number of people involved in the criminal justice system have unmet health, mental health, and substance use needs. As the title of the courses indicate, the availability and unavailability of appropriate health services, under the law and in practice, can lead to the “making or unmaking of a criminal.” The course involves two interrelated, three-credit classes on criminal law and justice and health law and policy, with emphasis on mental health law. Students will learn about the impediments to providing care in the usually siloed criminal and health care systems. By exploring differences in the US and UK, students will learn how to identify opportunities for better coordination that would improve outcomes for justice-involved and potentially justice-involved people and communities.
The legal system in the US is based on that of the UK and, as such, past and current legal developments in the UK have particular prominence when discussing criminal justice and health law and policy in the US. The London location will influence teaching and students’ learning by facilitating study of differences in the approach in the UK and US and evaluation of innovative and potentially replicable strategies. The host culture, history, and society will be integrated into the program and student experience through guest instructors and weekly site visits, including criminal court, prison, a former mental asylum, and exhibits.