The profile of a major affective disorder offender.
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The authors review the studies on the relationship between crime and mental disorder conducted in various settings and point out that the incidence of major mental illnesses in general and of major affective disorders in particular, among the criminal population is relatively small. They present the profile of a major affective disorder offender presenting at a forensic psychiatric department of a university-based psychiatric hospital in a major Canadian city. This profile is based on the demographic, psychiatric, psychological and legal data on a sample of 46 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of major affective disorder. Even though the majority of these offenders are charged with relatively minor crimes and property offenses, they are often referred by the courts for in-patient assessment as many show active symptoms at the time of initial appearance in court. The ways the criminal justice system deals with these offenders are discussed. The benefits and limitations of describing a profile of any group of offenders are also considered.
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