Mental Illness and Psychopathy
Consider mental illness and psychopathy on different spectrums each with their own specific set of characteristics. Is it possible to have mental disorders and not be mentally ill? Is it possible to have some of the characteristics of a psychopath without being a true psychopath? The terminology used to describe offenders has significant influence on their sentencing, treatment, and potential community reintegration. As professional practitioners you must learn to avoid stereotypes and focus on the facts of each case, the offenders, and their victim-offender relationships. What is critical for you in this week is to be able to differentiate between mental illness and psychopathy. It is very easy to focus solely on the behavior of an individual, especially in cases of extreme violent behavior, and deem them to be “crazy.” Indeed, the behavior is often “crazy,” but the individual does not meet the legal standard to be considered “insane.”
In this Discussion you will evaluate case studies to determine the Hare scale level of psychopathy of the offender.
- Review the factors on the Hare’s scale.
- Review the Hare Psychopathy Checklist.
- Review the Cleckley article “Behind the Mask of Sanity” located in the Learning Resources. Select two cases from the article to use in for this Discussion.
- Compare two case studies from “The Mask of Sanity.”
- Based on the Hare’s scale, which subject has the higher level of psychopathy?
- What is your basis for rating the subjects?
- Cite evidence for your opinion.