Arrest Types and Co-occurring Disorders in Persons with Schizophrenia or Related Psychoses

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Abstract

This study examined the patterns of criminal arrest and co-occurring psychiatric disorders among individuals with schizophrenia or related psychosis that were receiving public mental health services and had an arrest history. Within a 10-year period, 65% of subjects were arrested for crimes against public order, 50% for serious violent crimes, and 45% for property crimes. The presence of any co-occurring disorder increased the risk of arrest for all offense categories. For nearly all offense types, antisocial personality disorder and substance use disorders conferred the greatest increase in risk for arrest. Among anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder was associated with a greater risk of arrest for serious violent crimes but not other offense types. Criminal risk assessments and clinical management in this population should focus on co-occurring antisocial personality disorder and substance use disorders in addition to other clinical and non-clinical factors.