|About the Book|
While the link between crime and schizophrenia has been noted for almost a century, it is only recently that research has provided convincing, broad-based evidence for this association. This advance in knowledge also brings with it the troublesomeMoreWhile the link between crime and schizophrenia has been noted for almost a century, it is only recently that research has provided convincing, broad-based evidence for this association. This advance in knowledge also brings with it the troublesome danger that schizophrenia patients could be doubly-stigmatised in society: they suffer from a serious mental illness and furthermore they are potentially dangerous. This understandable fear has both lead to significant resistance in accepting that the crime - schizophrenia relationship truly exists. While well-meaning, this resistance has resulted in three unfortunate consequences. First, by not recognising that the relationship exists, the comorbid antisocial and violent behaviour of schizophrenia patients has gone unchecked, and consequently the stigma associated with this comorbidity goes on unabated. Second, research in this area has become almost fixated on the simple establishment of a link between the two conditions, and has not moved on to more important research that could help develop new perspectives on the nature of the crime - schizophrenia relationship in a way which will significantly benefit our understanding and treatment of both conditions. Frustratingly, we actually know surprisingly little about the crime - schizophrenia relationship. The third and more indirect consequence is that the issue of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder in antisocial criminal populations is almost entirely ignored. Such individuals literally fall between the cracks in both the mental health system and the criminal justice system. For these reasons, it is argued that ignoring or denying the crime - schizophrenia relationship ultimately does more harm than good. The main goal of this book is to stimulate a new generation of research on the crime - schizophrenia relationship which could benefit not just individuals with these two conditions, but also society in general. Going beyond the fundamental issue of whether there is a relationship between crime and schizophrenia, contributors to this book both outline risk factors for crime and schizophrenia and also develop hypotheses on which factors may give rise to both conditions, and hence in part explain the comorbidity issue. Furthermore, contributors go on to outlining intervention and prevention programs for not just crime and schizophrenia, but also for both conditions simultaneously. - From the Preface.