PSYC 508

Mental Health and the Law

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective August 1, 1998 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

This course addresses some of the major issues arising from the interaction of law and the mental health system. Following a legal system overview, topics include civil commitment, the right to treatment and to refuse treatment, legal and policy issues affecting the community mental health system, mental health considerations in the criminal justice process, and malpractice and other legal concerns affecting mental health professional practice.


Learning outcomes


  • Can apply psychological principles to understand the motives and functioning of police officers, judges, and juries.
  • Understand the limitations of eyewitness testimony.
  • Understands the basic court procedures, as indicated by completion of Observation report and by performance on mid-term and final exam.
  • Understands the various roles played by psychologists and other professionals in the legal system.