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May 27, 2016

Bar Association on Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System

Priscilla Banner

Co-executive Director Pervais Jabbar, of the Death Penalty Project, reiterates that the knowledge generated from today’s discussions can be useful if applied to individual cases involving persons with mental health disorders.

 

Isani Cayetano

“What is the most important caveat, if I may, that the participants would be walking away with after attending the discussions and participating?”

 

Priscilla Banner, President, Bar Association

“I think certainly one of the most important things is better ways to communicate and to participate in the process of assisting or dealing with persons who have mental disorders or have committed crimes.  There’s a process that occurs from the moment the mental disorder is detected, from the beginning of the trial process both players: medical professionals and legal professionals must play a role.  It is not only a question of having someone with a mental disorder go through a trial process and then, you know, they are acquitted on the basis of, you know, not having the capacity.  It is has to be that there is follow up and as Pervais said, there has to be capacity building continuously so that there is a very fluid process of these two very important professions working together to assist this very vulnerable group and to assure ultimately that justice is served the right way in respect of those persons suffering mental disorders.”

 

Parvais Jabbar

Parvais Jabbar, Co-Executive Director, Death Penalty Project

“And if I can just add to that I mean I think that’s so important and essentially if we can provide some knowledge and some resource, what we are trying to do as the president of the bar has just explained, this is very much an inclusive process.  This isn’t a separate meeting for lawyers or a separate meeting for doctors.  This a shared meeting where we can try and find out some of the problems that exist within the criminal justice system because these are all important actors within that.  So if we can provide information, if we can provide some knowledge then hopefully it can then be used in individual cases and that will help to serve the better criminal justice system and improve the process.”

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