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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Breaking news: Link between serious mental illness and committing crime not found

 "The study didn't find any predictable patterns linking criminal conduct and mental illness symptoms over time. Two-thirds of the offenders who had committed crimes directly related to their mental illness symptoms also had committed unrelated crimes for other reasons, such as poverty, unemployment, homelessness and substance abuse, according to the research. "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," 
“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,”
said lead researcher Jillian Peterson, PhD.
“The vast majority of people with mental illness are not violent, not criminal and not dangerous.”
Crime and Mental Illness - Time To End the Stigma
Crime and Mental Illness – End the Stigma

The researchers studied over 400 offenders with serious mental disorders (defined as Axis-I disorders in the DSM-IV psychiatric manual), and were unable to find a subgroup of offenders who committed offences only or mostly related to symptoms of their mental illness. Surprisingly, the mental illness most likely to be linked to crime was bipolar – one of the most common mental illnesses in the general population.
SourcePeterson, J. K., Skeem, J., Kennealy, P., Bray, B., & Zvonkovic, A. (2014). How often and how consistently do symptoms directly precede criminal behavior among offenders with mental illness?

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