Criminality & Mental Illness in Gangs

If you have ever wondered…please read the whole article and ask questions!

New research shows that young men in the UK who are members of gangs suffer from “unprecedented” levels of psychiatric illness, placing a heavy burden on mental health services.

1. 85.8 percent had an antisocial personality disorder
2. Two-thirds were alcohol dependent
3. 25.1 percent screened positive for psychosis
4. More than half (57.4 percent) were drug dependent
5. Around a third (34.2 percent) had attempted suicide
6. More than half (58.9 percent) had an anxiety disorder

Read more here.

“No research has previously investigated whether gang violence is related to psychiatric illness, other than substance misuse, or if it places a burden on mental health services,” said Professor Jeremy Coid, Ph.D., Director of Forensic Psychiatry Research Unit at Queen Mary, and lead author of the paper. Here we have shown unprecedented levels among this group, identifying a complex public health problem at the intersection of violence, substance misuse, and mental health problems among young men.”

Categories: Black Men, children, mental illness, research, teens | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Criminality & Mental Illness in Gangs

  1. I’ve long believed that most crime must have its roots in brain illness, and that much of that stems from childhood abuse/neglect, as well as generational poverty. Obviously anyone of the age of majority must be prosecuted for crime and take the consequences, but how much crime might we prevent if we as a society took responsibility for the mental/emotional well-being of our young people and families? Thank you for this post.

    • Thank you for coming by to visit the blog. I am always in heated debates with friends outside of the mental health field about how we approach criminal behavior. Most of them cannot stomach the idea that a murderer, rapist, or even a white collar criminal might actually be rather ill mentally and be in need of a different kind of treatment and sanction. We all know that there is almost no way that an alcoholic is going to work their way to sobriety just by simply doing a stint in jail and that very behavior (drinking excessively) is often a response to other life events and traumas from childhood and beyond. Currently, as it stands, our criminal justice system (and others) profit too much and can’t fathom taking a different approach. I however believe that aiding in mental health will absolutely improve crime statistics.

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