Is there a relationship between mental disorders and crime?
The central debate in this course is whether people with mental disorder are more likely to commit crime
than other people, and similarly, whether there is a disproportionate incidence of mental disorder among
offender populations. In other words, does mental disorder increase the likelihood of crime? When
answering the question, note the following points:
This is a persuasive essay. You must take a clear stand on the question, and you should set out
your position at the beginning of the essay and argue it throughout. There is no need to consider
both sides of the debate. Your task is to convince the reader to your point of view.
This is an empirical question. This question can be answered by a careful analysis of the research
You will need to clearly define both mental disorder and crime, and consider how the relationship
between mental disorder and crime might vary depending upon which particular disorder and
which particular crime you are talking about. When taking sides in the debate, it is legitimate to
conclude that there is a special relationship for some mental disorders and crimes but not for
others. However, you are not entitled to select one mental disorder or one crime you must
provide a comprehensive answer to the question.