There have been considerable interests in Australia and internationally since the mid-nineteenth century on the risks of people with severe mental illnesses committing violent crimes. While is has been acknowledged that not all types mental illnesses cause violent behavior, it is however an instigator for some individuals (Vogel, 2014). Dr. John Gray in 1857 was the first to suggest that serious mental illnesses are associated with homicide or attempted homicide. According to Vogel (2014) a development in mental illness has a risk in the increase of antisocial behavior. In this essay, the types of mental illnesses associated with risks of committing violent crimes will be explored, with significant focus on the empirical research that has…show more content… Legal systems don’t generally have a specific definition on mental illness but they rather follow the definition developed/explained by psychological institutions and psychiatrists (Peck & Scheffler, 2002).
Mental illness has a variety of forms, however, not all are associated with violent offending. It is rather severe mental illnesses in isolated individuals that lead to such offences (Vogel, 2014).
One of the predominant forms of severe mental illness at risk with violent offending is Schizophrenia (Fleischman et al., 2014). This form of mental illness is fundamentally based on the breakdown of thought, emotion and behavior whereby reality is perceived falsely, leading to inappropriate actions and feelings, delusions, withdrawal from reality, and a sense of mental fragmentation. It can be increased through a variety of biological and psychosocial factors (Mueser & McGruk, 2004). Violence in schizophrenic patients is largely prompted and administered the psychotic symptoms and delusions, “invoking the principle of ‘rationality within irrationality’” (Matthias & Angermeyer, 2000). Thus, individuals are