How Does Mental illness encourage criminal behavior

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:Criminology

Document 1

Out of ten prisoners, nine of them are likely to have a mental disorder (Seena et al. Some of the most common symptoms of prisons with mental disorder are worrying and sleeping (Seena et al. There is the likelihood of mental illness to affect the criminal behavior of a person. Despite this, it is important to avoid always associating people with mental illness with crimes. Many people think that one has to be mentally ill in order to commit a crime. Due to this, people with mental illness are likely to be victims of violent crimes of which they may not have taken place in this in some cases. It is true that in some cases those who commit crimes have a mental illness which influences their criminal behavior (Seena et al. Despite this, one needs to understand how mental illness may influence involvement of an individual in crimes before concluding that majority of the crime offenders are those that are mentally disordered. The public perception is highly affected by the publicized acts of violence by those that have a mental illness. it is a must of the clinicians to assess their patients so as to determine their likelihood of being involved in violent acts. It is not possible to predict the specific acts of violence of an individual since such acts happen when the perpetrator is emotionally upset (Seena et al. During clinical sessions, it is not possible for the nurses to determine the violent nature of an individual since an individual remains calm, less emotional, as well as thought thus masking any chances of showing violent behavior.

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There are some life circumstances that are likely to influence the occurrence of violent crimes in an individual. These factors include the history of violence, substance use, and social stress, nature of symptoms, age, gender, personal stress and early exposure as well with these factors affecting an individual in varying magnitude. Since it is clear that mental illness and substance abuse are some of the factors that cause criminal behavior in most cases, treatment of these two is likely to reduce the rates of crimes. Schizophrenia patients who take antipsychotic treatment have lower chances of being violent as compared to those that do not. Those patients that were diagnosed with conduct disorder during their childhood are usually exception of this. For a patient that has a psychiatric disorder, it is unlikely to medical treatment only to control their violence.

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It is therefore important for control in external factors in such patients so as to control this violent behavior. Mental illness and violence Majority of the members of the public think that those with mental illness have higher chances of being involved in crimes than those that do not have. Also, other studies do not consider other factors that may lead to violent behavior such as poverty, personal adversity, stress or family history. These mistakes that are made in these studies were initially identified by MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study and it did this through the use of three sources of information so as to assess the rates of violence. Those that were carrying investigation, in this case, interviewed participants in more than one time so as to assess self-reported violence in a continuous manner.

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The recollection of the participants was verified by checking factors such as family members, others who were familiar with the participants and also case managers. In this study, it was found that those that 31% of those who had both psychiatric disorder and also had substance abuse were at least involved in one criminal act in every year. It is clear that despite that person with mental disorder are likely to be involved in crimes; there are other factors that play a more positive role than this in increasing the number of crimes that one commits. Some of these factors that are more influencing than mental disorder include personal stressors, family factors, as well as socioeconomic factors with these including poverty together with homelessness. Substance abuse is a major factor that contributes to this even then a mental disorder.

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It is therefore clear that what many people think of is totally different to the reality. Environmental factors are more influencing than mental disorder when it comes to rates in which people commit crimes. In addition to this, it was found that the existence of serious mental illness with this not being accompanied co-occurring of disorder caused by substance use, has no likelihood of increasing criminal behavior or recidivism (MacPhail et al. When this research is carried out in gender centered form, it is found that women in the justice system have higher rates of serious mental illness than men but with lower rates of antisocial personality disorder (MacPhail et al. It is well known that a lot of time is used by police in dealing with people who have a mental disorder.

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Despite this, the majority of the interactions of people with a mental disorder with police usually involve activities that are not a crime in nature. In these interactions, these people may be seeking for assistance in times of crisis or there may not be any action that can be considered criminal. Conclusion There is a lot of research that has been carried out concerning this issue. The findings of the different researchers are similar even after them being based on different backgrounds. Majority of the people with mental disorder are not prone to crimes as many members if the general population think. Mental illness also does not have such great influence on crime as many people think. Criminal behaviors are mainly caused by other factors such as substance abuse. Co-occurring mental illness, substance use disorders, and antisocial personality disorder among clients of forensic mental health services.

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 Psychiatric rehabilitation journal 38. Swanson, Jeffrey W. et al. Mental illness and reduction of gun violence and suicide: bringing epidemiologic research to policy.

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