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Letters to the Editor
January 1998

Mental Disorder and Crime—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Université de Montréal and Karolinska Institute, Montreal, Quebec
  • 2University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • 3University of Georgia, Atlanta
  • 4Institute of Preventive Medicine, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 5Psychiatric Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55(1):87-88. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.55.1.87

In reply

Drs Wessely and Castle state that the relationship between the major mental disorders and crime is controversial. We do not share their opinion. As we noted in our article,1 there is compelling evidence from 3 different types of studies that has accumulated over the past 20 years to indicate an association between the major mental disorders and criminality and violence. The findings from 3 Scandinavian birth cohorts, from follow-up studies of patients discharged from inpatient wards to the community in both Scandinavia and North America, and from investigations of the prevalence of major mental disorders among incarcerated offenders and homicide offenders in several countries all support our contention.