Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Psychiatry. 2006 Feb;188:143-7.

Rates of mental disorder in people convicted of homicide. National clinical survey.

Author information

1
Centre for Suicide Prevention, University of Manchester, Williamson Building, Oxford ford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies of people convicted of homicide have used different definitions of mental disorder.

AIMS:

To estimate the rate of mental disorder in people convicted of homicide; to examine the relationship between definitions, verdict and outcome in court.

METHOD:

A national clinical survey of people convicted of homicide (n=1594) in England and Wales (1996-1999). Rates of mental disorder were estimated based on: lifetime diagnosis, mental illness at the time of the offence, contact with psychiatric services, diminished responsibility verdict and hospital disposal.

RESULTS:

Of the 1594,545 (34%) had a mental disorder: most had not attended psychiatric services; 85 (5%) had schizophrenia (lifetime); 164 (10%) had symptoms of mental illness at the time of the offence; 149 (9%) received a diminished responsibility verdict and 111 (7%) a hospital disposal - both were associated with severe mental illness and symptoms of psychosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings suggest an association between schizophrenia and conviction for homicide. Most perpetrators with a history of mental disorder were not acutely ill or under mental healthcare at the time of the offence. Some perpetrators receive prison sentences despite having severe mental illness.

PMID:
16449701
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.188.2.143
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Cambridge University Press
Loading ...
Support Center