In recent studies, only 7.5 percent of crimes were related to those who suffer from mental health issues. These included mental health issues of depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
According to the APA Law Journal of Human Behavior, there were no direct links to criminal behavior and mental health. While two-thirds of the offenders had committed crimes that were related to their mental health issues, the rest were unrelated and due to circumstances such as poverty.
A small percentage of the group were repeat offenders that committed the same types of crime time and again. It was not conclusive as to whether or not this was directly related to their mental health issues or not.
Currently, in the United States alone, there are 1.2 million persons who are incarcerated that have some form of mental illness. There are also many who are on some form of probation or parole.
After several studies, it has become clear that most of these persons were not committing crimes due to their mental health issues, but rather to circumstances such as poverty and opportunity.
In this study, two-thirds of the persons were male and they were all the average age of 40. Dividing them into race, there was an even ratio of African Americans and Caucasian. The remaining 16 percent were made up of other diverse races.
The only thing that the studies didn’t address were whether or not there was substance abuse involved. After all the studies were in, it was determined that perhaps what was really needed was for there to be more mental health services that may be helpful to the offenders in preventing more crimes from happening.
Prevention could also include help for those who are addicted to drugs and alcohol which may make them more prone to committing crimes.