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Are People with Mental Illnesses at Increased Risk of Violent Offending?

1010CCJ - Introduction to Forensic Psychology

10 Pages Essays / Projects Year: Pre-2018

This essay explores the relationship between violent offending and the presence of mental illness. It details the comorbidity of substance abuse and mental illness (particularly disorders with a psychotic element, such as schizophrenia, and substances known to either increase or activate latent psychoses, such as cannabinoids) and discusses the compounding effect of the two on the risk of violent offending in an individual. Using both social learning theory and Eysenck’s theory of personality and crime, it talks about other compounding factors such as socioeconomic and sociodemographic factors and their relationship to the above. It also briefly details the increased risk of violent victimisation of people with a mental illness, before finding that while certain mental illnesses do increase the likelihood of an individual committing a violent offence, the risk is significantly increased when some or all of the previously discussed factors are present in the one individual. It then summarises the suggestions of Mullen as to how people with mental illnesses could be better treated and managed in society today.

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