Hey folks, here today to talk about the effects of criminal accusations on people with mental illness.
First of all, yes, people with mental illness commit crimes, I am not going to say they don’t because face it, it happens. However, there is a lot of stigma attached to mental illness with it comes to crimes of any kind.
First of all, people with mental illness are 3-16x more likely to be accused of a crime, depending on region (this is a US stat, I do not have sources for other nations that I can read, sorry I only read English…) Compare this fact to the statistic that states mentally ill people are 160% less likely to commit a crime than a healthy person. It doesn’t really add up does it? How can you be less likely to commit a crime, but more likely to be accused of one?
Sadly, because we are mentally ill, the idea is, we don’t have control so we must be more likely to commit a crime, right? Sadly, and this is going to piss some people off, Mentally ill people are actually more likely to be falsely accused of a crime than even black people. What makes this a reality that with certain crimes, the automatic assumption is that the criminal MUST be mentally ill to have done it.
Here is a story of a person in my support group, we will call him Tom.
When Tom was 14 he attended a public school in NY state. He was quiet (still is) and kept to himself. Having recently been diagnosed with Bi Polar Depression, his school felt it would be a good idea to have a ‘Support day’ for him detailing his diagnosis and why it was important to be sensitive to his moods.
Now this might seem like it was a good idea. But this was the early 90s, not a good time to be mentally ill, it was after the times of ‘keep it in the family tell no one’ and before the ‘accept them, do not judge them’ era of the 2000s.
One of toms school mates was a young woman, who was never named, who was known to the students to be extremely active sexually. She got caught up with one of her excursions and was late to get home. When confronted with her lateness, she cried and said she had been raped. When asked who it was, she said she didn’t know. Somehow (and Toms father saw the official statements made by the victim) ‘I don’t know’ became ‘it was the retard’.
Without a single shred of evidence to confirm it (and quite a bit show it could not have happened, including the fact Tom was in his psycho-therapists office at the time of the ‘crime’, he was still arrested, and sent to a juvenile correctional facility. He was there for TWO years without a trial as the prosecution tried to build evidence. After these two years he was released when a new prosecutor took over and realized the accusations were false.
Were the accusations based solely on his mental illness? It seems quite likely. Sadly, even after being released, Tom was treated like a criminal. He had to change to his name when he turned 18, and move to another state. The worst part, for him, was the even though his life was ruined by the accusations, the girl was never charged with a crime.
Is this Fair? To use someone as a scape goat for any reason is bad enough, but to accuse someone based solely on their mental illness? No, this has to stop.
The feminists like to say we have a Rape culture in the world right now. I don’t think its accurate, but I will admit there is a lot of trauma involved with Rape, but researchers have already debunked their 2% claim of false rape claims. Evidence puts the number between 6 and 18% depending on region.
The real negative culture we have is the ‘Automatic Guilt’ culture. If you are a man accused of rape, you are automatically guilty, even if you were half way around the world at the time of the supposed crime. If you are mentally ill and accused of ANY crime you are automatically guilty, even if you were locked in a mental hospital at the time, like Sven A. of Norway thrown in jail for murder, even though at the time the victim was killed, he was strapped to a bed in a psych ward for a mental break down.
Yes mentally ill people commit crimes, but not nearly as many as we are accused of. And NO just because someone shoots up a mall or theatre does not mean they are mentally ill.
Statistically speaking, serial killers do NOT fall into the categories of recognized mental illness. Sociopathic behavior is not currently recognized as a mental illness.