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Crime and Mental Disorder


Mental illness and the crime has the very close link with each other. The complex and the sophisticated relationship between both came under discussion by the numerous psychological research. Those individuals having the problem of anxiety, depression, or another form of mental disorder can have the criminal act. The number of people required help and in this regard, mental disorders are still higher than the availability of professionals. Similarly, among the youth criminal actions are increasing along with their mental disorders. In the federal and other state prisons, there are around fifty percent of the male prisoners and seventy percent of the female prisoner are facing some kind of mental disorders. The local jails are comprised of the seventy-five percent women and sixty of the male individuals have need of mental health care recovery.


The mental illness can affect and influence the criminal act of an individual. Media and other organization are spreading negativity about the people who are facing any kind of mental disease. The most important things are the disassociation of the individuals from any kind of criminal activity. People generally have the assumption that any person who has committed a crime must have certain mental issues. These people are not having reality-based evidence or any proof for how psychological ill person are involved in the criminality. Not all the individuals with mental issues are criminals some who might involve due to their craziness and over action. An individual was arrested on the charge of house firing.

The fire department through investigation has revealed that the man was building homemade bombs. During the proceedings of the trial, it was also revealed that the person was facing severe problems of mental health. He was seeking the intervention from many years but no change occurs in his mind. During the court proceedings, the judge has remarks that it is so sad that how individual have treatment which result in the violence and firing of a building. The court order for the conditional imprisonment of the person along with the regular psychological intervention (Metzl, 2015). Reacting to the decision of the court, many people have the opinion that mental issue should not be the excuse for a person to commit a crime; instead, he must face certain harsh punishment. The reaction of the people reveals that media has no idea about the behavioral aspects and influences of the irrational attitude of the mentally ill person.

Non-availability of the realistic information like media is spreading among the people about the relationship between mental illness and the crime lead to the open space for people to make unrealistic assumptions. They believe that mentally disable individual have erratic and dangerous behavior. They also pass their ideas to the others, which resulted in the creation of stigma of mentally ill as violent criminals. The psychological illness also affects the rational capabilities and actions of the individual person. Some people have the observation that such type of ill people should lockup in the jail in order to avoid a social and personal damage from crazy individuals.

The proper and the professional intervention can help people in recovering their rational will and thoughts. The person who was involved in the attempt of bombing has regret for his action after going through the process of psychological intervention. The statement and the acknowledgment of the person reveal that he was realistically facing the issues of mental disorder (Coker, 2014). If his stance was not considered and the authorities send him to the jail while charging him as the crazy person might lead to more disaster for the individual and the community in general. In the case, the court has remarked that jails are not the intervention centers.

Before putting, anyone in the jail on the charge of criminal act authorities must consider the fact that there might be some psychological or mental issues. Punishments should be according to the type and the nature of the case. The time in the jail is not the solution for the mentally ill person rather it will hamper the already worse situation. In the same way, when we separate the stigma with the reality it becomes a difference in the life of criminals. Similarly, after the mass shooting incidents and other associated tragedies, there it seems the problem of mental instability. Certain media personnel and the reporters cover the story under the stigma of mental health.

In the same cases of the mass shooting or high profile killings, there is evidence of the problem of mental illness. Committing such an atrocity is not the act of sane and rational man. We are not focusing on the mental problems as the soul issues behind the killing of many people, instead, we argue for the involvement of ill mind in committing undue action. Despite the complex and sophisticated mind illness people just throw their ideas and consider the issue as the blanket statement (Buchanan, 2017). The shooting at the church in Sutherland Texas by the David Patrick have killed around twenty-seven individuals. The shooter also killed himself. Voices raised for the reformation in the guns control policies and programs. However, some sensible individuals are debating whether the man has the problem of mental illness or not.

The speculations regarding the issue have resulted in coverage of news, which stigmatizes the illness of the mind. The discussion and the conversation are right in its nature and work type, as it happens that most mental illness plays important role in the criminal activity. The issue is that how people converse with each other. In the same way, the complexities underlying mental problems are not tackled properly. The issue if not address professionally leaves the space open for thinking that people instability in their mind is very dangerous. A kind of threat then comes out of ill health people and society hesitate to recognize them as their members. Those persons having certain mental issues if counter by affection, love and the positive relationship can have the abilities to play positive roles than killing the people.

Normal people and the members of the society is also affected by the media coverage of the certain criminal activity. If an individual feels that media is stigmatizing the mental illness in certain coverage he/she must turn away from that particular channel in order to avoid the influence of the coverage. It is because of the factor that individual needs to take care of himself. The individual can have the facility of strengthening his/her mental health stigma. Similarly, a regular contact with the therapist and psychologist will enhance the abilities of the people to deal with any kind of criminal activity.


Concluding the discussion, the mental disorder has the considerable effect on the criminal behavior of an individual. Certain suicidal and mass shooting cases have revealed that mental instability could lead to the massive destruction of the community. Data of the prisoner in different states of the United States also support the idea that majority of the criminals are passing their life with some kind of mental illness. In the jails, they are becoming more depressed, and cruel to the dealing of the correctional officers. The society of the Americans has significantly need of the highly professional psychologist, which will help criminals and other individuals in playing the positive role for the development of the community.


Metzl, J. M., & MacLeish, K. T. (2015). Mental illness, mass shootings, and the politics of American firearms. American journal of public health105(2), 240-249.

Coker, K. L., Smith, P. H., Westphal, A., Zonana, H. V., & McKee, S. A. (2014). Crime and psychiatric disorders among youth in the US population: an analysis of the national comorbidity survey–adolescent supplement. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry53(8), 888-898.

Buchanan, A., & Wootton, L. (Eds.). (2017). Care of the mentally disordered offender in the community. Oxford University Press.



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