The objectives of this study were (1) to compare long-term
patterns of violent crime for mentally disordered patients and for
prison inmates, and (2) to evaluate the predictive validity of a
diagnosis of schizophrenia for subsequent arrests for violent crimes.
For purposes of this data collection, violent crimes were defined as
including murder, manslaughter, rape, assault, kidnapping, and sodomy.
The study analyzed individual state mental hospital patients and
inmates of state prisons in New York State over a 20-year span. In the
process of obtaining information regarding the individuals, three
different areas were focused on: hospital, incarceration, and arrest
histories. Variables for hospital histories include inpatient
hospitalizations, admission and discharge dates, legal status for all
state hospitals through 1988, primary diagnosis for target and most
recent admissions, and placements in New York State Department of
Correctional Services mental hospitals. Incarceration history variables
include time spent in adult state prisons, incarcerations through 1988,
and dates of release (including re-entry to community on parole,
outright release, or escape). Arrest histories include information on
the subject's first adult arrest through 1988 (only the most serious
charge for each incident is recorded) and out-of-state arrests, when
available. Demographic variables include age, race, and date of birth.