Severe Personality Disorders And Crime

2523 words, 11 pages

Intro Sample...

The term “personality disorder” is one that some members of the community would be familiar with as they may be personally involved or aware of, in one way or another, just what the term conveys. The vast majority of the community would all have varying degrees and ideas of what the term personality disorder really means. This could range from someone showing odd eccentric behaviour to someone with psychopathic tendencies. This is understandable as the term personality disorder is very vague and unclear, as it tries to encompass numerous and varying disorders.

The medical profession even have problems agreeing on a medical definition of personality disorder. This is evident as numerous medical definitions... View More »

Body Sample...

They would support these beliefs by highlighting and quoting, the definition of personality disorder, from the official psychiatric manual, the DSM – IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, Fourth Edition), which lists ten personality disorders grouped into three clusters (

These clusters are listed as clusters A, B, and C. It is in cluster B, the dramatic, emotional and erratic behaviour section; that includes the antisocial personality disorder (,
that is most relevant to this essay. The reason behind this is that there is an abundance of expert evidence, from both the legal and medical profession, on antisocial personality disorders, used in Australian courts today. This evidence plays a significant part in linking the diagnosis and criminal behaviour in cases involving serious and violent crimes, which is estimated to cover up to 50% of all serious crimes committed (Ruffles, 2004, p.113).
The legal professions modern concept of using mental impairment as a defence for serious crimes committed is based on the argument that the accused was not aware that their actions were wrong. Therefore, they should not be held criminally responsible for those actions. The Australian Code jurisdictions and recently, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia and Victoria have enacted mental impairment provisions largely based on the traditional McNaughton Rules (McSherry, 1999, p.135), from 1843, which are considered to be a cornerstone of the further development of the concept of criminal ...

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