issues and experts

Medications for Schizophrenia: Impact on Crime and the Importance of Supported Housing

June 28, 2017
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A recent study by SFU health sciences  researchers Stefanie Rezansoff and Julian Somers reveals offenders with schizophrenia who are treated with antipsychotic medication following clinical practice guidelines are associated with lower rates of repeated crime. In reality, however, the majority of offenders with schizophrenia do not receive guideline-level treatment and continue to commit crime despite frequent contact with the medical system.
 
“Our findings reinforce the need for immediate action to increase the rates of guideline-level treatment as well as antipsychotic adherence among people who are at risk for offending and who are being treated for schizophrenia,” says Somers, a clinical psychologist.
 
Rezansoff says a way to increase antipsychotic adherence for offenders with schizophrenia is to provide housing with additional tailored support services, according to one of the pair's recent studies.

The findings build on a series of studies examining the relationship between antipsychotic medication adherence and repeat criminal activity, as well as effective interventions for those who are homeless.
 
Both Somers and Rezansoff can comment on the practice and policy implications of their study findings at the municipal, provincial and national levels.

Contact:

Stefanie Rezansoff, research associate, SFU Faculty of Health Sciences, 604.724.0479, sra20@sfu.ca
Julian Somers, professor, SFU Faculty of Health Sciences, 604.290.3210, jsomers@sfu.ca
Wan Yee Lok, University Communications, 778.782.5151, wyl12@sfu.ca