skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 74717 Find in a Library
Title: Crime Among Mental Patients - A Critical Analysis
Journal: Psychiatric Quarterly  Volume:52  Issue:2  Dated:special issue (Summer 1980)  Pages:100-107
Author(s): C I Cohen
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Previous research indicating that former mental patients are more dangerous than the general public is criticized on grounds of serious methodological flaws.
Abstract: A literature review includes 12 studies published in the United States comparing crime rates of discharged mental patient samples with the general population: the methodological strengths and weaknesses of those studies are summarized in tabular form. Variations in time, setting, and geographic locale makes comparisons among studies difficult. The studies are further analyzed for sample size; diagnostic categories (e.g., alcoholics and drug addicts were included along with schizophrenics); criteria for crime; and criminal recidivism. Researchers almost universally neglected to control for important crime variables such as age, sex, race, socioeconomic level, and marital status, as demanded by rigorous scientific procedures. While some indications point to higher criminality among former mental patients, it is possible that defensive reactions to economic, physical, and verbal assaults perpetrated upon them in hostile community settings may account for it. More carefully controlled studies are needed before a special degree of criminality can be attributed to discharged mental patients. Twenty-eight references are appended.
Index Term(s): Criminality prediction; Dangerousness; Forensic psychiatry; Mentally ill offenders
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=74717

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.