You are part of a citizen's watchdog committee on the circuit court in your region of the state. Recently, the state has started a mental health court, in which defendants may voluntarily enter into a treatment program instead of being prosecuted and sentenced to a prison term.
Mr. John Snodgrass was recently arrested at a local park playground while attempting to look up the skirts of little girls about 5 or 6 years old playing on the park’s monkey bars. His lawyer explained that Snodgrass has a heterosexual pedophilia disorder, but it only results in him looking at little girls—he has never touched one. The judge allowed Snodgrass to voluntarily enter a diversion program for the new mental health court.
Please respond to the following questions.
What is the intent of the mental health court in general?
Did the judge make an appropriate decision in this case, and why?
What other alternatives would have been more appropriate for this defendant?
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According to Slobogin (2007), the core intent of the criminal justice systems is to convict the offenders and endow justice to the victims. Additionally, the system works in consistency and uniformity to reduce the crime indicator in future. To achieve these chief objectives, the court proceedings hold several policies that determine the guilt or innocence of an individual. To begin with, the court examines the motive of the offender....
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