The violence relapse process – a qualitative analysis of high-risk situations and risk communication in mentally disordered offenders

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Approximately 45% of mentally disordered offenders relapse into violence. Although much is known about factors related to the risk of future violence, the violence relapse process is still in many aspects an unexplored area. The aim of this study was to increase the knowledge of the recidivism process and risk communication of the repeatingly violent mentally disordered offender. A qualitative study using open-ended, semi-structured interviews was conducted with 14 mentally disordered offenders who had relapsed into violent behaviour. Important risk markers, pointed out by the informants, such as separations, drug problems, homelessness, and lack of sleep, were presented in a situational context. All but one of the informants were of the opinion that they directly or indirectly had communicated their violent intent or the experience of an intolerable situation. These results may help practitioners to target interventions and prevent further violence.

Keywords: Violence; mental disorders; qualitative research; relapse process; risk communication; risk factors

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: June 1, 2005

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