Terrorists should be put in mental health facilities, caller insists

4 February 2020, 15:00 | Updated: 4 February 2020, 15:07

Shelagh Fogarty questioned this caller who said all terrorists and violent criminals should be treated in mental health facilities instead of being imprisoned.

David from Kingston said terrorists and criminals that kill "almost exclusively can be diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder...and should be put into mental health secure facilities probably for the rest of their life or until they're deemed fit."

"The majority of people in prison are mentally unwell and instead of getting the help they need they are forgotten about until it's time for them to get released," he said, and stated that the only people benefitting from this system are those running the private prisons.

Shelagh countered that there are people who are seriously mentally ill and have carried out acts of violence that do need to be punished to protect the public.

"A psychopath - you wouldn't describe a violent psychopath mentally well, would you? But the propensity to be a psychopath doesn't necessarily need to be directed towards violence," she said, "so there are psychopaths in business that get to the top and psychopaths in politics that get to the top and they're not violent necessarily.

"If somebody has been violent even if it's because they're a psychopath and they're not mentally healthy and stable, they've been violent, they need to be punished."

Shelagh explained that anti social behaviour disorder doesn't lead to psychopathy despite the caller insisting that it does.

She asked if a child shouted loudly at night time in the street or stole a chocolate bar that meant they were a psychopath.

The caller backtracked on his point and parroted Shelagh's example that some psychopaths aren't violent and can become politicians or bankers, but those that are violent should be treated.