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Mental Illness and Crime, Etiological Linkages Between

The issue of whether mental illness and crime are linked has been the focus of mental health and criminological research for decades, coming under increasing scrutiny in the wake of dozens of mass shootings that have occurred since the 1990s because several of the perpetrators had mental health issues. Although such incidents are rare, media attention may help to perpetuate the notion among both the general public and professionals working with this population that mental illness and crime go hand in hand. To truly address this issue, however, it is necessary to explore the empirical literature that examines the etiological linkages between crime and mental illness so as to promote better prevention and intervention efforts and implement well-informed policy.

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