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August 1973

Psychiatric Disorders and Criminal RecidivismA Follow-Up Study of Female Criminals

Author Affiliations

St. Louis
From the Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;29(2):266-269. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.04200020088012

A systematic psychiatric study of a group of paroled, convicted, female felons was followed two to three years later by an analysis of their rates of criminal recidivism. Recidivism was found to be significantly related to past criminal record, a particular type of index crime, age, education, marital status, familial history, and psychiatric diagnosis. About 90% of the recidivists had received a diagnosis of sociopathy at the index interview. Among the sociopaths, drug dependence and relative youth were associated with still higher recidivism rates: 82% of the young drug-dependent sociopaths were rearrested and 64% were reconvicted.