Simitsi, Christina (2020) Criminal Narrative Experience and Emotional State of Schizophrenic Offenders. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.
Abstract

It is deeply rooted in the social consciousness that dangerousness in inherent in the mental disorder. Over recent years, few extremely violent crimes committed by individuals suffering from schizophrenia have had an adverse impact on public opinion enhancing the widespread social misconception. Considering there is limited research on crimes committed by offenders suffering from schizophrenia, the present study carried out in the interest of obtaining a better knowledge of schizophrenic offenders’ criminal actions and the etiological factors associated to the expression and maintenance of the violent behaviour in such populations.

The general purpose of the present study was to investigate the Criminal Narrative Experience of the Schizophrenic Offenders by the application of the Criminal Narrative Experience framework proposed for non mentally ill offenders (Ioannou, 2006); and further explore the emotional state of that population in terms of moral emotions, depression and suicidal ideation regarding the CNE of these offenders. This is the first study to examine the CNE framework solely in schizophrenic offenders and the first one to explore the emotional state in terms of the above mentioned aspects in combination to schizophrenic offenders during incarceration.

A total of 64 schizophrenic offenders who have been found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity and recruited from three Psychiatric Hospitals in Greece, were voluntary participated in the present study. All the participants completed the demographic questionnaires regarding their personal, psychiatric and criminal background and seven questionnaires regarding their Criminal Narrative Experience and their emotional state.

The present research successfully implemented the Criminal Narrative Experiences model and revealed the internal motives and the emotional gratifications that lead to crime. The findings mirrored partially the findings of previous studies in non mentally and mentally ill populations. Specifically, the study identified three Criminal Narrative Experience themes the Displeased Victim, the Contradicted Revenger and the Pleased Hero. Furthermore, it was found that the most dominant criminal narrative experience was the Displeased Victim as the majority of the participants experienced negative emotions and felt as victims during the crimes they had committed. Last but not least, there were found differences between the three Criminal Narrative Experience themes in terms of their emotional state and there was found that the background characteristic of schizophrenic offenders do not play any significant role in the formation of their criminal experience.

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