Many people automatically think that people who have violent tendencies are just acting out. What many people don't realize is that there are sometimes mental health conditions that cause the person to act in this manner. It is easy to think that someone who just stabbed or shot someone should be locked away in prison for life, but this doesn't address the underlying problem.
Many different mental health disorders can lead someone to do violent things. The issue here is that the person isn't going to overcome the problem by being put in prison. Instead, they need to receive mental health care that will help them. This is especially important if there is a chance that they will be released from prison at some point.
Unfortunately, the criminal justice system doesn't really focus on getting mentally ill people help. Instead, it just punishes for the actions that run afoul of the law. Some people think that these mentally ill individuals should just be kept away from weapons. While this sounds easy in theory, the reality is much worse.
Kitchen knives, forks or screwdrivers can turn into a deadly weapon. In prison, inmates can turn toothbrushes and other seemingly innocent items into shanks, which can be deadly. In the hands of a mentally ill person, just about anything can be used in a violent manner. This is why it is imperative for people who have these issues to receive the help they need.
For defendants who have a mental illness, presenting information that might enable the court to order help for them could be important. This should be considered as an aspect of their defense.