Forensic psychiatry 1

There are a number of important topics associated with the theory behind forensic

psychiatry which will be covered. These are as follows:

1. Criminology

2. Crime in the UK

3. Antisocial behaviour – epidemiology and aetiology

4. Psychiatric aspects of offending behaviour

5. Offending amongst those with mental disorder

6. Sexual offences

7. Risk assessment

8. The UK criminal justice system

9. Mental disorder in prison

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What is Forensic Psychiatry?
Forensic psychiatry has two main components:
· Clinical assessment and treatment of individuals in a variety of settings and under a
range of circumstances. Patients are frequently involved in the criminal justice system,
either awaiting trial or having been convicted of an offence. Forensic services also…

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every year.3 It collects information about crime independently of that recorded by the police.
The BCS estimates that 11.3 million crimes were committed in the year 2006 2007, of which
5.4m were reported to police. An even smaller proportion will therefore have been
investigated and convictions secured. The overall amount…

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abnormalities are causally associated with criminal behaviour or offending.
· Twin studies show genetic overlap of disinhibitory syndromes: conduct disorder, alcohol
and drug dependence and child and adult antisocial behaviour. It is postulated that
there is an underlying genetic vulnerability factor to these disorders (termed as
`externalising' disorders) related to…

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report suspicious behaviour and help to prevent crime. 7
Psychiatric Aspects of Offending Behaviour.
The relationship between psychiatric disorder and criminal behaviour is far from
straightforward. Few psychiatric patients are offenders and few offenders have a psychiatric
disorder (Gunn, 1977). The public image of mental illness is generally poor, and…

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times greater in the mental illness group.
· Birth cohort studies
o There have been a number of studies conducted using this design, and most
have broadly supported the hypothesis that major mental illness is associated
with an increased likelihood of violence (or arrest for violence). This is
particularly so…

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convicted of homicide in England and Wales.
· 34% had a mental disorder: most had not attended mental health services
· 5% had a diagnosis of schizophrenia
· 10% had mental illness at the time of the offence
· 9% received a diminished responsibility verdict
· Most perpetrators with a…

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of contexts. Those who have committed numerous crimes are almost by definition antisocial,
but simply being a criminal alone is not enough to warrant the diagnosis . 19
Recent political debate has introduced the concept of `dangerous and severe personality
disorder' (DSPD). This is not a diagnosis as such, but…

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homicides and assaults (many victims as well), 50% of rapes, 40% of property offences and a
significant number of driving offences. There is little evidence to suggest that criminal
behaviour is higher in cannabis users (with the obvious exception of convictions for
possession). 80% of opiate users have at least…

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classified as a summary offence and can be dealt with by a Magistrates Court. Most sexual
offenders do not have a mental illness and are dealt with by the criminal justice system.
Rape is a violent sexual offence, in which an individual has unlawful sexual intercourse with
a man…

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This refers to arousal to symbols of sexuality, which may develop into the predominant or
exclusive form of sexual outlet. It is a learned response and is therefore amenable to
behavioural treatment such as aversive conditioning, reconditioning and counterconditioning.
Exhibitionism and indecent exposure
Indecent exposure is the legal term for…


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