Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gobs of Interesting Data Concerning Mentally Ill Murderers

Jason C. Matejkowski, Sara W. Cullen, and Phyllis L. Solomon, “Characteristics of Persons With Severe Mental Illness Who Have Been Incarcerated for Murder,” Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 36:1[2008]74-86.  They examined data for 723 persons convicted of murder in Indiana 1990-2002.  Of those, they were able to obtain enough data on 518 to determine their mental health.  Of those 518, 95 had a "diagnosis of schizophrenia or other psychotic disorder, major depression, mania, or bipolar disorder...."  

Among the 95, 72% had a history of drug abuse.  Of that 72%, 47% listed drug of choice as marijuana, 13% stimulants, 4% inhalants, and 7% "other."  Unsurprisingly, 67% also had a history of alcohol abuse.

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