Mental health issues such as generalised anxiety disorder, depression etc. highly impact criminal behaviour and criminal conduct. For example, anyone with a cognitive disorder, or a history of mental illnesses, is more likely to commit a violent crime than the general population. According to findings from a nationally representative cohort, people with psychosis disorders have a 2-10 times higher risk of committing violent crimes than compared populations.
Evidence identifies that the mentally ill are equally likely to become victims of a violent crime as they are to become assaulters. So, to understand the connection between the two, let us understand what the research says about the underlying factors that lead to psychosis disorder and how mental health issues mediate criminal behaviour.
Let us first define how the law approaches criminal behaviour. Criminal behaviour or conduct can include a variety of actions, including physical assaults and theft, that primarily result in injury, sexual assault, destruction, and death. In addition, evidence is available for mental illnesses being the core reason for violence and oppression.
However, the results have not been great even after mandating a violence risk assessment on every criminal. According to the Crime Rate UK, an average of 77.92 crimes per one thousand people happen in England. Looking at the Official Crime Survey of England and Wale, 4.6 million reported violent incidents occurred in England and Wales in 2020-21, having a year-on-year increase at an average rate of 13%.
Thus, the underlying reasons might be different. Following the belief of forensic psychology, several factors collectively create psychotic issues that lead to criminality. But, of course, they are not easy to detangle. This is where the courtroom requires the services of a forensic psychologist expert. Forensic psychologists crack the behavioural and cognitive codes to find the underlying factors that mediate criminal conduct.
It is important because, by default, society and media like to label people committing crimes as ‘crazy’ when trying to explain why and how a mental health issue contributes to criminality. Therefore, preventing people with mental health issues from getting the treatments they deserve and require. Forensic psychologists play a vital role in destigmatising mental illnesses. They also ensure adequate treatment and rehabilitation for those who engage in criminal behaviour if the underlying factor is a psychotic issue.
People With Mental Illnesses Will Still Face the Consequences.
The forensic psychologist in court will help you prove that an underlying mental illness made the criminal commit the crime. However, offenders will still be incarcerated because everyone is responsible for their mental and bodily actions. In addition, people must face the consequences of their actions; for example, the court will sentence criminals if they have a psychotic disorder and have committed a violent crime. The difference lies in the fact that if the disorder is treatable, for example, in the case of bipolar disorder, they will receive treatment first.
Contrarily, if someone suffers from an untreatable mental health issue, treatment might not be the first thing doled out. However, in both cases, the criminal will be punished and serve a sentence abiding by the law. Punishment and penalties vary from case to case because jail time is no longer an across-the-border solution.
When you use the help of a forensic psychologist expert witness, sometimes, they uncover some behavioural and mental health elements that even the criminals are unaware of. For example, bipolar personality disorder happens to be one of the leading mental health issues among criminals; more than 70% of criminals were unaware that they had a disorder. Nevertheless, since law and psychology go hand-in-hand, solicitors deal with critical cases with caution and care.
Furthermore, legally, criminals have the right to treatment and cure if they have treatable mental health disorders, according to United Nations. Of course, they will be kept, but they will receive treatment. So, criminals are likely to recover and get released after serving a sentence. They are rehabilitated and legally supported to move on to a normal life, all thanks to forensics.
Concise Medico understand detangling criminal behaviour is just as complicated as dissociating mental health issues from criminality. Fortunately, consistent research and development in forensic psychology have made the job easy. So, if you feel stuck, you can totally rely on us! We have a panel of forensic psychologists with a proven history of success. So, reach out to us today because you have every right to treatment and cure!
Our forensic psychology expert witnesses are qualified, verified and properly vetted for courtroom appearances. If you are stuck with a criminal case and are unable to conclude something about it, contact us today! Our HCPC-registered forensic psychologists are always there to help you detangle complex criminal behaviours.