Articles Review on Prevailing Variations Between Criminal Thinking and Symptomatology in Persons with Mental Illness

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Sewanee University of the South
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The purpose of the study was to clarify the prevailing variations that exist between criminal thinking and symptomatology in persons with mental illness who are and not involved in criminal justice systems. In the article, both male and female participants were admitted to an acute psychiatric facility to assess their criminal thinking and the psychiatric symptomatology.  Other than the inpatient participants, another group of incarcerated PMI from the previously conducted study was selected based on their similarity with the new sample on the main demographic and psychiatric variables. There is relevance in the study since it indicates that hospitalized people with mental issues have history of criminal justice that shows similar thinking style with those of mental illness incarcerated. Furthermore, people with mental illness with no criminal justice involvement showed insufficient thinking styles supportive of the criminal lifestyle.  Patients with mental illness with no history in criminal justice showed a significant decrease in the levels of psychopathology and were a risk factor.

In relation to the findings of the articles, there was significant implication when it came to offender type classification, interventions, and program placement. A comparison with other offenders indicated that the PMI who were placed under community supervision after being released from the correctional facility had significance to recidivate and re-incarceration of the patients. At the same time, about 37-57 percent of the PMI from the mental health facility were decompensated and readmitted to mental health after one year after being discharged. This has led to the discrepancies such as high criminal recidivism and psychiatric hospitalization statistics among PMI who were not involved in criminal justice. This shows a common risk factor like criminal thinking, homelessness and high rate of unemployment.

From the ethical point of view, the article findings identified neglect in treatment among persons with mental illness that if can be addressed, can improve treatment outcomes significantly. Fair treatment regardless of criminal justice or mental health will lead to reduced symptoms, criminal recidivism, and reduced psychiatric therapies. A thorough investigation of the mental illness and exacerbation of the criminal acts is thus warranted. There may be differences in health needs among PMI and CJ and the criminal risk aspects when it comes to offending acts, at the same time, criminal thought can influence psychological functioning and mental health healing process among the two. There is a need to ensure fair treatment of the patients to abide by the ethical policies and avoid discrimination issues.

In a nutshell, these two articles have developed a substantial literature review and identified essential areas for research. The two articles are peer-reviewed, are recent, evident, purposeful, authoritative and relevance thereby meeting the PREPARE evaluation method. The articles contain significant aspects of the study topic and therefore can be used together with other sources.



Gross, N., & Morgan, R. (2013). Understanding Persons With Mental Illness Who Are and Are Not Criminal Justice Involved: A Comparison of Criminal Thinking and Psychiatric Symptoms. Law and Human Behavior,37(3), 175-186. Retrieved from

Skeem, J., Manchak, S., & Peterson, J. (2011). Correctional Policy for Offenders with Mental Illness: Creating a New Paradigm for Recidivism Reduction. Law and Human Behavior,35(2), 110-126. Retrieved from

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