People with a severe mental disorder who commit a crime and who are incarcerated have different characteristics compared to people who are hospitalized after committing an offence. These are the findings of a study by researchers at the Institut universitaire en santé mentale de Montréal (IUSMM) and the Institut Philippe-Pinel de Montréal (IPPM), affiliated with the University of Montreal.
“We found a clear difference between people with a mental illness who are incarcerated for a crime and those declared not criminally responsible for a crime and then hospitalized at a psychiatric institution,” explained Dr. Alexandre Dumais, a researcher at the IPPM and the IUSMM and the study’s first author.
“Since the adoption of Bill C-30 in 1992, federal detention centres have had a significant decrease in the number of people with severe mental disorders, such as schizophrenia. Conversely, there has been an increase in the number of people declared not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder (NCRMD) and who find themselves in the psychiatric network,” added Dr. Dumais, who is also an assistant clinical professor in the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Medicine and a psychiatrist at the IPPM.