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A study of mentally abnormal female offender in iraq

Author: 
Numan S. Ali and Raad S. Madhloom
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Researches dealing with female criminality are not only limited, but often present contradictory findings It is widely accepted that substantial proportion of crime by women is associated with mental disorder. In general it would appear that women are more law abiding than men. Aims: The study was designed to determine socio-demographic data, type of crime and type of mental illness among all female offenders referred to forensic psychiatric committee for psychiatric evaluation. Subject & Method: The study sample consisted of (51) female offender in AL- Rashad mental Hospital during the period from 1st Oct. 1998 to 30th of Jun. 1999. Results: The female offenders were interviewed according to semistructured interview questionnaire (SSIQ) based on DSM-IV The age range of patients was (22-59) year, mean was (36.5 y +/-10.07). (51%) of the sample were within the age of (30-39) year, (33%) of them were single and (88 % ) were house wives (33 %) were illiterate (70% ) were from urban area. Vagrancy was the commonest offence among mentally abnormal female offender. Schizophrenia was the commonest disease among them (80 %). Majority of them had no history of previous referral to Forensic psychiatric committee (67%). Majority of them had history of previous admission to psychiatric hospital(53%). Murderers were characterised by low education, house wife, married, & their age in mid thirties and were diagnosed as schizophrenic. The results of this study was compared with studies in this country and other parts of the world. Conclusions: 1-All of the female offenders who were referred for psychiatric evaluation were found to be mentally ill except for one and the most frequent mental illness was schizophrenic . 2-The type of crimes committed by those females were vagrancy (45%), followed by delinquent Antisocial behavior (20%), and murders (11%). 3-Schizophrenia was the most common diagnosis among mentally abnormal female offender i.e. (80% ) followed by mental subnormality (6%). 4-One-third of the sample were single, followed by the divorced who constituted (29% ) while the widows were least represented among the sample (12% ). 5-One-third of the sample (33%) have previous history of convictions. 6-Majority of female offender (70%) were compulsorily detained at hospital for treatment. While only (13% ) were discharged for family care. Recommendation and Suggestion: 1-Establishing a mental health act in Iraq is more than necessary. 2- Any offender carry a mere suspicion of mental disturbance should be referred to Regional psychiatrist for psychiatric evaluations. 3-There should be some sort of cooperation and liaison between forensic psychiatric services and the courts.4-Mentally ill female offender who are admitted to the mental hospital (forensic ward) should have close observation and follow up by hospital and community to prevent relapse and committing another offence. 5-A semi structural interview according to DSM-IV which used in this research need to be reevaluated again to determine its reliability and validity.

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