Dementia and crime: A forensic psychiatry unit study in israel

Jeremiah Heinik, Robert Kimhi, Josef Ph Hes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The psychiatric files of the 57 consecutive defendants aged 60+ referred by court for psychiatric examination at the Forensic Psychiatry Unit at the Y. Abarbanel Mental Health Center in the period 1982–1992 were retrospectively evaluated. The objectives were as follows: (a) to compare some assessment aspects of dementia patients with those of psychotics and personality disorders; (b) to compare how the questions of competency to stand trial, legal responsibility and competency to be sentenced were differentially approached. Of the 57 elderly patients surveyed, 17 (30%) suffered from dementia, 14 (25%) from a functional psychosis and 16 (28%) from a personality disorder. These three groups of psychiatric patients were found to be quite similar regarding the demographic and criminal variables studied. However, dementia patients occupied an intermediate position between the psychotics and personality disorders when assessment characteristics, psychiatric and legal recommendations to the court were considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)491-494
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Dementia
  • crime
  • forensic
  • psychiatry


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