Disorders and Treatment
- Mental Illness
- Bipolar Disorder
- Mood Disorders
- Borderline Personality
- Mental Health Diagnosis
- Mental Health Treatments
- Alternative Meds
- Case Studies
Mental illness not linked to criminal behavior
Many people assume that mental illness and crime go hand-in-hand. It’s not true. In a recent study of crimes committed by people with mental disorders, only 7.5% of the crimes were directly related to the mental illness.
People with mental illness are not usually violent
Researchers looked at 429 crimes committed by 143 offenders with mental illness over a period of 15 years. They found that 3% of the crimes were related to symptoms of major depression, 4% related to symptoms of schizophrenia and 10% related to symptoms of bipolar. The study may be the first to analyze the connection between crime and mental illness symptoms for offender over an extended time. “When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes so they get stuck in people’s heads,” noted lead researcher Jillian Peterson, PhD. “The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent, not criminal and not dangerous.”
Even mentally ill people commit crimes for a variety of reasons
The study did not find any predictable patterns tying criminal conduct and mental illness together. Two-thirds of the offenders committed crimes directly related to their mental illness, but they also committed unrelated crimes for other reasons, like substance abuse or poverty. “Is there a small group of people with mental illness committing crimes again and again because of their symptoms? We didn’t find that in this study,” Peterson said.
Programs designed to reduce recidivism for mentally ill offenders should be expanded to include cognitive-behavioral treatment about criminal thinking, anger management and other behavioral issues.
Source: Law and Human Behavior, MedicalNewsToday
The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.