Psychopathy and Crime Essay

821 Words Nov 21st, 2006 4 Pages
Psychopathy is a disease of the mind, in which the psychological state of someone has emotional or behavioral problems serious enough to require psychiatric evaluation. Psychopaths have no concern for the feelings of others and a complete disregard of any sense of social obligation. Psychopaths are characterized by lack of empathy, poor impulse control and manipulative behaviors. They use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and the use of severe to mild violence to satisfy their own needs.
Psychopathy is derived from two Greek words: psych, meaning soul, and pathos, meaning suffering. They were once used to explain any form of mental illness. Psychopathy was recognized in the early 1800's at which time Pinel explained the condition
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Psychopaths can seem just like you or me, but when you are not around them this is when their mental disorder kicks in. Psychopaths that have been put in jail committed three times as many crimes per year then non-psychopaths. 97% of convicted psychopathic criminals cause at least one violent crime compared to 74% of non-psychopaths. Psychopaths are shown to be more violence throughout their entire life compared to a regular people. Psychopaths tend to have a greater chance of failing on parole and mandatory supervision and have a faster rate of failing then non-psychopaths. Psychopathy predicts recidivism on conditional release as well as or better than do actuarial risk instruments. Psychopaths recidivate at a rate of three to four times higher than that of non-psychopaths.
Doctors use a simple test to predict psychopathy called a Psychopathy Checklist-Revised or known as the PCL-R test. This is a checklist that has twenty items on it that included: glibness or superficial charm, grandiose sense of self-worth, need for stimulation/proneness to boredom, pathological lying, conning or manipulative, lack of remorse or guilt, shallow affect, callous and lack of empathy, parasitic lifestyle, poor behavioral controls, promiscuous sexual behavior, early behavioral problems, lack of realistic, long-term goals, impulsivity, irresponsibility, failure to accept