20 year-old Dorothy Stratten seemed to have the whole world for the taking. After rising to prominence in the late 1970s as a model for Playboy magazine she was looking to expand into Hollywood and the prospects for her career seemed endless. Tragically though, just months after winning the 1980 Playmate of the Year award her life would be brutally taken by her husband Paul Snider. This is the heartbreaking story of The Life and Death of Dorothy Stratten.
The United States continues to have one of the highest incarceration rates in the world, with 5 percent of the world population, but nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Inmates are spending more time behind bars as states adopt “truth in sentencing laws,” which requires inmates to serve 85 percent of their sentence behind bars.
In 2012, about 1 in every 35 adults in the United States, or 2.9 percent of adult residents, was on probation or parole or incarcerated in prison or jail, the same rate observed in 1997.If recent incarceration rates remain unchanged, an estimated 1 out of every 20 persons will spend time behind bars during their lifetime; and many of those caught in the net that is cast to catch the criminal offender will be suffering with mental illness.
Just last week, the Victorian Court of Appeal significantly reduced the sentence given to Akon Guode, a mother who killed three of her children after driving her car into a lake in Melbourne. The main reason for the 8½ year sentence reduction was that the trial judge had not sufficiently taken Guode’s major depression into account.
While the circumstances of this offence were unusual, it is common for offenders to have mental health problems. Surveys have shown that almost half of Australian prison entrants report being affected by a mental disorder. With that in mind, how are mental health issues taken into account during the criminal justice process? more