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SCHIZOPHENIA AS A CONTINGENT RISK FACTOR FOR CRIMINAL VIOLENCE

NCJ Number
141688
Journal
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry Volume: 15 Dated: (1992) Pages: 347-358
Author(s)
C Cirincione; H J Steadman; P C Robbins; J Monahan
Date Published
1993
Length
12 pages
Annotation
Whether a diagnosis of schizophrenia has potential value in predicting violence was assessed using two samples of adult males admitted to a New York State Office of Mental Health institution in 1968 or 1978.
Abstract
The samples included 255 men admitted in 1968 and 327 admitted in 1978. They included both voluntary and involuntary patients and were all under age 50 at admission. Arrest history data were gathered from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services for 11 years after inpatient admission to determine whether an individual was arrested for a violent crime. Although the results indicated that the individuals who had previously been criminally violent were more likely to be subsequently violent, the findings also suggest caution in accepting the view that risk assessment can and should only be made when extensive prior histories of violence are present. Although patients with prior arrests for violent crimes were more likely to be subsequently violent than those with prior arrests for only nonviolent crimes, the largest difference in probability of future violence was between patients with no prior arrests and patients with prior arrests, violent or not. In both cohorts, the predictive power of diagnosis was dependent on prior arrest history. Results indicated that real changes occurred in New York's mental health system over time and that the factors that accurately predict who will be violent may vary by the composition of the persons in the system at particular points in time. Tables, footnotes, and 27 references

Date Published: January 1, 1993