Mental Illness and Violent Crime

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The stereotype that goes hand in hand with mental illness that though seems to have improved over the years is still pervasive. Teplin, Abram & McClelland (1994) state that people in general, believe that people with mental illness are more likely to commit violent crime with those without mental illness. In their study they seek to find evidence to that statement – to learn if having a mental illness increases the likeliness of violent crime and recidivism after release from prison. This author seeks to discover the same using similar data to learn if there is a connection between violent crime and mental illness. The data gathered in the Teplin, Abram & McClelland (1994) research was conducted in the Cook county jail in Chicago…show more content…
The researchers of the Dorn et al. (2012) study conducted in person interviews with non-institutionalized individuals in two waves. In wave one; data was collected between 2001 and 2003 and in wave two, between 2004 and 2005. The definition of mental illness for this study was those with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder which are in line with the other studies in this review. The data used was obtained from the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC). This data was examined by the researchers with SAS where they used univariate rates of violence and bivariate relationships between mental disorder between the two waves and then multivariable connections to see the relationship between mental illness and violence. Their results were in contrast with recent findings that there is little connection between mental illness and violence. The results show that people with severe mental illness have higher risk of violence than those with no mental health or substance abuse issues. Dorn et al. (2012) also state that the NESARC data shows a causal relationship between severe mental illness and risk of violence.
There is an understandable desire among law enforcement persons to be able to predict the likelihood of a mentally ill person to commit a violent crime. What is interesting to this author is that a large amount of research on the matter states that there is no connection and no
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