Study: Mental Illness and Crime Not Typically Linked


An American Psychological Association study of crimes committed by people with serious mental disorders found surprisingly few directly related to symptoms of mental illness.

Researchers analyzed 429 crimes committed by 143 offenders suffering from three types of mental illness — major depression, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder — and found that 7.5 percent of the crimes were directly related to symptoms of the illnesses.

The offenders were all former defendants of a mental health court in Minneapolis. They each participated in a two-hour interview with researchers about their criminal history and mental health symptoms. Researchers also reviewed criminal history and social worker files to rate past crimes on their association with mental illness.

They classified each crime as having been “directly related” to symptoms of mental illness, “mostly related,” “mostly unrelated” and “no relationship.”

Even when combining “directly related” and “mostly related” crimes, fewer than 1 in 5 (18 percent) crimes were connected to mental illness symptoms, according to the study.

Read the study HERE.

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