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.
|Translated title of the contribution||Rates of mental disorder in people convicted of homicide: national clinical survey|
|Pages (from-to)||143 - 147|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||British Journal of Psychiatry|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2006|