In recent years it has become apparent that mentally ill people are at increased risk of committing crimes of violence. Most writing and research about crime and mental disorder has focused necessarily on the immediate problems which confront clinicians and law makers - assessing and managing the future risk of violence. In this important new book the authors attempt to step back from these immediate preoccupations and describe the criminality of the mentally ill and try to identify the complex chain of factors which cause it. As part of their analysis they examine a unique cohort composed of 15,117 persons born in Stockholm who were studied from pregnancy to the age of thirty. While they conclude that we still do not understand exactly how and why persons with major mental disorders commit crimes, their findings make a valuable contribution to ongoing debates on mental health and criminal justice policy and practice.
Sheilagh Hodgins is Professor at the Universite de Montreal, Foreign Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, and Adjunct Professor at Concordia University, Montreal. Her recent books include Violence Among the Mentally Ill: Effective Treatments and Management Strategies (2000) and with R. Muller-Isberner Violence, Crime and Mentally Disordered Offenders: Concepts and Methods for Effective Treatment and Prevention (2000). Carl-Gunnar Janson is Sociology Professor Emeritus at Stockholm University. In 1964 he started Project Metropolitan and is still analyzing its data. He is the editor of Seven Swedish Longitudinal Studies in Behavioral Sciences (2000).