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Study: Criminals Rarely Commit Crimes Due To Mental Illness

By HERWriter
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study: crimes are rarely committed because of mental illness Andy Dean Photography/PhotoSpin

“By shifting the focus onto a disempowered group - people with mental illness - the problem of gun violence can be shifted to ‘other’ people and not directly addressed,” Mihalko said.

“The problem isn't people with mental illness having guns, the problem is our violent culture that we are unwilling to face head-on.”

He believes that people try to “avoid and escape responsibility for their own violence” when they use people with mental illnesses as a scapegoat. He suggests more people look to become aware about their own capabilities and potential for violence, so they can make better choices and seek intervention if needed.


American Psychological Association. Mental Illness Not Usually Linked to Crime, Research Finds. Web. April 23, 2014.

Peterson, J. K., Skeem, J., Kennealy, P., Bray, B., & Zvonkovic, A. April 23, 2014. How Often and How Consistently do Symptoms Directly Precede Criminal Behavior Among Offenders With Mental illness? Law and Human Behavior.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000075. http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/lhb-0000075.pdf

Samton, Julia. Email interview. April 23, 2014.

Bevacqua, Frank. Email interview. April 23, 2014.

Mihalko, Jason. Email interview. April 23, 2014.

Reviewed April 25, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.