Preventing crime by people with schizophrenic disorders: the role of psychiatric services

S Hodgins, R Muller-Isberner

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    147 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background Knowledge of when and how to implement treatments to prevent criminal offending among people with schizophrenia is urgently needed. Aims To identify opportunities for interventions to prevent offending among men with schizophrenic disorders by tracking their histories of offending and admissions to hospital. Method We examined 232 men with schizophrenic disorders discharged from forensic and general psychiatric hospitals. Data were collected from participants, family members and official records. Results More than three-quarters (77.8%) of the forensic patients had previously been admitted to general psychiatric services; 24.3% of the general psychiatric patients had a criminal record. Offences had been committed by 39.8% of the forensic patients and 10.8% of the general psychiatric patients before their first admission to general psychiatry, and after their first admission these 59 patients committed 195 non-violent and 59 violent offences. Subsequently, 49 of them committed serious violent offences that led to forensic hospital admission. The offenders were distinguished by a pervasive and stable pattern of antisocial behaviour evident from at least mid-adolescence. Conclusions General psychiatry requires resources in order to prevent criminal offending among a subgroup of patients with schizophrenic disorders.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)245 - 250
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
    Volume185
    Issue numberSEPT.
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004

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