Criminal thinking styles among people with serious mental illness in jail


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

The purpose of this study was to extend the investigation of criminal thinking of persons with mental illness beyond prison and community settings to a jail setting. Participants consisted of 122 individuals incarcerated in a county jail who were diagnosed with a severe mental illness, including schizophrenia spectrum and major mood disorders. Results indicated that people with mental illness in this sample of jail inmates presented with thinking styles that support a criminal lifestyle, and have criminal thinking styles that follow a pattern that is very similar to a sample of prison inmates with serious mental illness. These findings support the need for therapeutic programs for justice-involved persons with serious mental illness to develop a multipronged treatment approach that integrates interventions for individuals’ criminal thinking and antisocial attitudes with treatment for their mental illness and substance abuse issues.

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