Does internal migration affect criminal behavior in schizophrenia patients?
Mustafa Sercan, Fatih Oncu, M. Can Ger, Rabia Bilici, Cenk Ural, Burcu Rahsan Erim
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Article No: 2   Article Type :  Research
Objective: In our research, we aimed to attract attention whether internal migration has an effect on criminal behavior of schizophrenic patients.

Method: Schizophrenic (according to DSM-IV) patients (66 from the general psychiatry units and 69 from forensic psychiatry clinics) participated in the research from a regional hospital in the northwest of Turkey. Forensic psychiatric patients are divided into two subgroups, namely those who migrated (n=30) within the country and not (n=39), with those who are repetitive offenders (n=29) and not (n=40); then groups were compared in the point of parameters of crime and migration.

Results: Most of the patients who have not committed a crime were from cities. Even though there was no significant difference, with those who have committed a crime, the age of internal migration was younger. Migration raised the possibility of the recidivism of the criminal acts up to 5 fold whereas, having already been prisoned before raised this possibility up to 17 fold and childhood within the criminal group.

Conclusions: Although our data indicated the internal migration not to affect the rate of the criminal acts among the patients with schizophrenia meaningfully, it significantly affected repetition of crime within the criminal group. The need to focus on internal migration and urbanization as disruptive environmental conditions effecting schizophrenia and crime in countries like Turkey where the urbanization process is still ongoing, is obvious.
Keywords : Crime, internal migration, schizophrenia
Dusunen Adam The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences 2015;28:17-26
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