Mental Health Tag

Are people with mental health problems at increased risk of violent offending?

Introduction

The Australian Government’s Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report (AIHW, 2015) includes data from over 1,000 prison entrants from all states and territories across the country. It states 49% of the prisoners surveyed reported that they have or have been told by a qualified medical professional that they are suffering from a mental health disorder. This leads one to question, are people with mental health problems at an increased risk of violent offending? This essay will begin by looking at what constitutes a mental health problem and how these problems are categorized by different regions. It will then explore the relationship between violent offending and certain types of mental health problems from biological, behavioural, and psychological disorders. Within the examination and discussion of the question ‘Are people with mental health problems at increased risk of violent offending?’ empirical research will be used to explore what links exist between these specific mental health problem areas and violent offences being carried out. It is intended that this essay will support and clarify the link between certain types of mental health problems and the increased risk the sufferers of the problems pose to the community through heightened rates of violent offending.