Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ex-forensic patients in the community

People with severe mental disorders and a history of violent offending are often seen as a difficult-to-manage population: most have schizophrenia or severe affective disorders while some suffer from severe personality disorders. They are over-represented among prisoners and are characterized by a high rate of crime recidivism, poor compliance with community programmes and aftercare and homelessness. People often go from secure units to a non-forensic residential facility and an Italian survey of 2,962 residents of such facilities compared those who had previously been in forensic units with those who had never been in one. The majority had a diagnosis of schizophrenia or a related disorder but overall the 'symptom profile' was similar between the two groups. The rate of violent behaviour of ex-forensic patients was low and limited to a very small group. The researchers concluded that the ex-forensic patients would be 'able to remain in this type of accomodation without posing a significant danger in terms of violent behaviour or threats'.

Preti, Antonio ... [et al] - A comparison between former forensic and non-forensic patients living in psychiatric residential facilities: a national survey in Italy Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology March 2008, 19(1), 108-126

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