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Civil commitment law, mental health services, and US homicide rates.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22072224     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
PURPOSE: The study considers whether involuntary civil comment (ICC) statute provisions are associated with homicide rates. Do statutes based solely upon dangerousness criteria versus broader ICC-criteria-i.e. "need for treatment," "protection of health and safety," and family protection-have differential associations related to their goal of reducing the frequency of homicide? METHOD: State-level data were obtained from online data bases and key-informant surveys. Ordinary-least-squares and Poisson regression were used to evaluate the association between statute characteristics, mental health system characteristics, and 2004 Homicide Rates after controlling for firearm-control-law restrictiveness and social-economic-demographic-geographic-and-political indicators historically related to homicide rate variation. RESULTS: Poisson and OLS models, respectively, were significant: likelihood ratio χ(2) = 108.47, df = 10; p < 0.000 and Adj. R (2) = 0.72; df = 10, 25; F = 10.21; p < 0.000. Poisson results indicate that social-economic-demographic-geographic-and-political-indicators had the strongest association with state homicide rates (p < 0.000). Lower rates were associated with: broader ICC-criteria (p ≤ 0.01), fewer inpatient-bed access problems (p ≤ 0.03), and better mental health system ratings (p ≤ 0.04). OLS results indicate that social-economic-demographic-geographic-and-political indicators accounted for 25% of homicide rate variation. Broader ICC-criteria were associated with 1.42 less homicides per 100,000. Less access to psychiatric inpatient-beds and more poorly rated mental health systems were associated with increases in the homicide rates of 1.08 and 0.26 per 100,000, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: While social-economic-demographic-geographic-and-political indicators show the strongest association with homicide rate variation, the results show the importance and potentially preventive utility of broader ICC criteria, increased psychiatric inpatient-bed access, and better performing mental health systems as factors contributing to homicide rate variation.
Steven P Segal
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-11-10
Journal Detail:
Title:  Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1433-9285     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-11-10     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8804358     Medline TA:  Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Mental Health and Social Welfare Research Group and the Mack Center on Mental Health and Social Conflict, School of Social Welfare, University of California, 120 Haviland Hall (MC# 7400), Berkeley, CA, 94720-7400, USA,
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