Doctor in Psychology (Psy. D.)
This original contribution to practice explores the significance of schizophrenia spectrum disorder, one of the most severe psychiatric disorders recognized in the DSM-5. This condition affects over 50 million people worldwide and is amongst one of the most common psychiatric illnesses diagnosed in criminal responsibility evaluations to date. Nonetheless, there is limited comprehensive literature specifically examining the relationship between schizophrenia and the insanity defense. Information provided in this literature review aims to fill that gap and act as a resource for clinical forensic practitioners who may encounter related cases. Specifically, this document will begin by introducing schizophrenia spectrum disorder and will be comprised of a detailed description of the disorder, symptomatology, how it presents clinically, diagnostic considerations, comorbidity/differential diagnoses, and cultural considerations. Next, I will discuss the prevalence of crime, violence, and the involvement schizophrenia spectrum disorder plays in the legal system. The succeeding section will be a review of criminal responsibility and the insanity defense to lay the foundation for understanding how this work is conducted in practice. Lastly, I will end with a redacted case study to provide a real-world example of the nuances to this type of criminal, legal evaluation, exemplifying the relationship between a specific psychiatric disorder, schizophrenia spectrum disorder, and the law.
2023 Taylor A. Chille
Chille, Taylor A., "The Relationship between Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder and Criminal Responsibility" (2023). Psychology Doctoral Specialization Projects. 27.