Mentally ill or mentally handicapped persons who are apprehended for alleged commission of crimes may be unfit to deal with the criminal justice system. They may be unable to participate in reasonable and comprehending dialogue with police officers and investigators and with private or publicly appointed lawyers for the purposes of defence. Inability may extend to standing trial and pleading innocent or guilty. The treatment of such persons varies significantly from country to country. The mentally ill or handicapped person may be forced to stand trial without any special assistance, or may be interned without trial in a psychiatric hospital from which release is a difficult and prolonged process. In some countries such as the UK, there is provision for medical and mental treatment before trial.
A recent case in the UK involved a mentally deficient youth being committed to prison for stealing a milk bottle.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.