A longstanding controversy is the relative dangerousness and criminality of the mentally ill. The author presents observational data from 1,072 police-citizen encounters in an urban area. The data show that persons exhibiting signs of serious mental disorder were not suspected of serious crimes at a rate disproportionate to their numbers in the population. The patterns of crime for mentally disordered persons and for non-mentally-disordered persons were substantially similar. These data help dispel the myth that the mentally ill constitute a dangerous group prone to violent crime.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health