The Complex Relationship Between Mental Health and Crime Essay

The Complex Relationship Between Mental Health and Crime Essay

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There is a complex relationship between mental health and crime. The cause of the relationship can include many different and diverse factors early in life. Hodgins (1997) said that the relationship between mental illness and criminality could be supported by three different types of evidence studies. There has been a great deal of theories on the links between personality and crime. One of them was Eysenck’s personality theory. He stated that criminals displayed had a higher level of three personality types; Extroversion, Neuroticism and Psychoticism (Newburn 2010). Statistics have also shown that children with ADHD, anti-social behaviour and educational difficulties are more likely to commit a crime whether as a juvenile or adult. In addition, traumatic events from childhood and child abuse can also be related to the emergence of mental disorder, anti-social and criminal behaviour (Hollins, 2013). Risk factor and risk based prevention identifies these mental disorders to be strongly related to delinquency and later criminal offending. Mental illness is mostly linked to serious crimes such as murderers, serial killers and violent offenders.
Personality disorders such as antisocial personality disorder, psychopath and sociopath are mainly linked to offenders. To diagnose an individual with a personality disorder their personality characteristics have to be outside the norm of the society. The two main ways to diagnose personality disorder is through ICD and DSM. However, personality disorders are hard to diagnose, for example, many people who have never committed a crime in their lives can be classed as ‘psychopaths’ or ‘sociopaths’ (Pakes and Winston 2007). “Personality disorders are mental health conditions that affect how some...


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...personality disordered offenders. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.justice.gov.uk/downloads/offenders/mentally-disordered-offenders/working-with-personality-disordered-offenders.pdf. [Accessed 04 May 14].
 Psychiatry Research. (2012). Offenders with antisocial personality disorder show attentional bias for violence-related stimuli. [ONLINE] Available at: https://www.psychologie.uni-freiburg.de/Members/domes/domes_2013_Offenders. [Accessed 04 May 14].
 Pakes, F., & Winstone, J. (2007). Psychology and Crime; Understanding and tackling offending behaviour. London: Routledge
 Tyrer, P., et al. (2010). The successes and failures of the DSPD experiment: the assessment and management of severe personality disorder. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.rsm.ac.uk/enewsforms/msl_peter_tyrer.pdf. [Accessed 04 May 14].
 Webber, C. (2010). Psychology and Crime. London: Sage.

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