May 26, 2004

Crime and Schizophrenia

Crime and Schizophrenia - Recent Stories

There have been two news stories this past week related to the incidence of crime by people who have schizophrenia.

A new study out of Australia sounds like one of the most comprehensive I've seen - covers a 25 year period during which the researchers monitored 2800 people who had schizophrenia and compared the results to a similar number who didn't have schizophrenia. The conclusion of the study was that:

"People with schizophrenia are three to five times more likely to commit crimes than those without the mental illness, the largest study yet of the link has found.

The Australian study also found that 8.2 per cent of the schizophrenic group had been convicted of a violent offence - a rate 4.5 times the 1.8 per cent of the other group.

Dr Simpson said both studies showed that violence by people with severe mental illnesses was an issue. "As a contribution to total societal risk, people with schizophrenia, although slightly higher risk, do not present a major or overwhelming risk. Less than 0.2 per cent of the people with schizophrenia committed homicide over a 13-year period."

The researchers urged action to provide better services to people with schizophrenia to reduce the incidence of violence: "He urged addressing these problems for schizophrenics, offering therapy for personality difficulties such as insensitivity to others, helping them into jobs or at least providing structured activities and support. "If you do these things you could probably reduce crime by 5 to 10 per cent."

For the Full News Story on this Study see: Schizophrenia Boosts Crime Likelihood, The New Zealand Herald, May 17th.

A second story on this subject comes out of the American Psychiatric Association - Psychiatrists Disagree About Crime-Schizophrenia Link

This story stated that "People with schizophrenia appear to have a higher rate of criminal and violent behavior than people in the general population.

That finding does not appear to be explained solely by the presence of active symptoms, the concurrence of substance abuse, or the effects of deinstitutionalization, according to a report in the April American Journal of Psychiatry.

Rather, the pattern of offending among patients with schizophrenia reflects a range of factors that appear to be operative before, during, and after periods of illness, said Paul E. Mullen, M.B.B.S., D.Sc., of the Victoria Institute of Forensic Mental Health, Victoria, Australia, and colleagues.

The controversial finding, however, is disputed by at least one expert who reviewed the report for Psychiatric News.

Darrel Regier, M.D., M.P.H., director of the APA Office of Research, commented that the study?s methods for controlling all potentially confounding factors that might influence criminal offending among people with schizophrenia are insufficient to support the conclusions. "

This news item also emphasized that better treatment for people with schizophrenia could minimize this problem. "The study suggests that many of the factors that produce offending in the general population are important in producing offending in schizophrenia," he said. "These include disturbed backgrounds, poor social conditions, unemployment, and substance abuse, among others. But those with schizophrenia may be more vulnerable to these influences. It argues for a much more holistic approach to the treatment of schizophrenia, taking far greater note of the psychological and social problems of these patients if we are to do anything to reduce offending in our patients."

Posted by szadmin at May 26, 2004 06:34 PM

More Information on Schizophrenia, Poverty & Crime


ummm don't have any comments really, just...What is Schizophrenia?

Posted by: Blake at May 27, 2004 03:38 PM

ummm don't have any comments really, just...What is Schizophrenia?

Posted by: Blake at May 27, 2004 03:38 PM

my son has this and is in jail.he did nothing wrong.police arrested him on my property.even though he told thetruth,they pushed him in a corneer,afraid he fought to get away and was charged with 7 felonys.he was on my his father.he is sinking fast.lost 50lbs.i fear for his life.i need help.

Posted by: kenny at June 17, 2004 07:18 PM

Really good work. I found a lot of profound information which can help me to go on. Thanks for all this input.

Posted by: Sybill june at April 27, 2005 09:08 AM

very interesting, good reading, helped a lot

Posted by: laura thompson at March 20, 2006 01:35 PM

In Japan , the crime that inventing psychopath by detective is done and never investigated . This criminal necessarily steal or erase evidence of the inventng psychopath , from victim . And once achieve inventing , police seldom invent the crimes and criminal do crime as they like . And I guess a few doctor may participate to this crime intentionally .
In Japan , these criminals have influence to mass communications , and never advertise by mass communications .

Please look this site , and advertise this crime to stop these crime , for protect sincere doctors and human right .

Posted by: takahiro katagiri at April 7, 2006 08:18 AM

the site about the crime that inventing psychopath is

Posted by: takahiro katairi at April 7, 2006 08:26 AM

i think that a schizophrinic
people are jus the same as nom schizophrenic people.cuz my freind is schizophrenic and she acts jus regular.

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Posted by: allegra or claritin at October 27, 2007 09:48 AM

schizophrenia in a deeper form of the every day personality adjustments that people commonly make when dealing with different sets of persons. Smile with someone over here and frown at another in that same instance. Individuals with schizophrenia don't just display or hide something about their personalities but they enter into a whole new shell. Since this is virtually impossible to do, the mind is forced into believing it. The brain is partitioned like that of computers where the owner switches between "operating systems" and at times the switch is made so quick that the change is no realized by the person using the system. Sometimes people have desperate desires (admitted/realized or not) and the position that they are in doesn't exactly afford it to them so the internal make-up adjusts to compensate it thus creating a world for the person to interact in that ends up colliding with reality and the people in it.(alternate worlds existing in one instance) That's my take on it.

Posted by: crystal christopher at November 11, 2007 06:56 PM

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