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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.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||British Journal of Psychiatry|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2006|
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NCISH: National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health
Appleby, L., Kapur, N. & Shaw, J.
1/04/96 → …