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A Study of Offenses Committed by Psychotic Inmates in a County Jail
Edwin V. Valdiserri; Kenneth R. Carroll; Alan J. Hartl
Psychiatric Services 1986; doi:
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Lenape Valley Foundation

Correctional mental health services at the foundation

© 1986 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Following deinstitutionalization, several studies have documented an increase in the number of mentally ill inmates in prisons. The authors reviewed all referrals to a mental health clinic in a county prison and categorized each case as psychotic or nonpsychotic. The psychotic inmates were four times more likely to have been incarcerated for less serious charges such as disorderly conduct and threats, and they committed fewer sex offenses, property crimes, and drug offenses than nonpsychotic inmates. The authors conclude that the increased number of mentally ill prison inmates does not reflect a greater incidence of serious criminal activity in this group but an increase in the criminalization of psychotic behavior.

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