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Crimes committed by mental patients

[ 2010-06-02 13:03]     字号 [] [] []  
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About 82 percent of the 1,515 people who were accused of criminal offenses and underwent psychiatric evaluation at a Beijing hospital from 1984 to 1996 suffered from mental illnesses, official media reported on Monday.

Psychiatric evaluations found 1,248 of the group were suffering from mental illnesses, the Xinhua New Agency's Outlook Weekly on Monday quoted a report by the judicial expertise department of Beijing Anding Hospital, a leading psychiatric institution in China.

More than 94 percent of the criminal offenses the mental patients were charged with fell into three categories: assault and battery, property violation, and disruption of social administration, the report showed.

The report once again cast the spotlight on the long-ignored mental health problems in China, which is still reeling from the shock of a spate of school attacks and murders.

Most of the assaults were allegedly carried out by people suffering from mental disorders.

Experts said the major causes behind the incidents include a weak prevention and treatment system for mental illnesses, laggardness of mental health legislation, as well as a deficiency in the relief and management mechanism.

A mental health law that was expected to tackle problems related to mental illnesses was drafted in the 1980s, but never released.

More than 100 million Chinese people suffer from various mental illnesses, statistics from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed in early 2009.

More than 16 million Chinese people suffer from serious mental disorders and a majority of them have not received any medical aid, according to Outlook Weekly, which quoted official statistics.

Following the string of crimes committed by suspected mental patients, central and local authorities have only recently begun to take action.

The Ministry of Health in February ordered an improvement in the management of serious mental patients across China.

Last week, the Ministry of Public Security vowed to expand treatment for severe mental patients, who may pose a threat to public safety.

A mental health-screening program will be launched in Central China's Hubei province to improve service to 800,000 locals suffering from serious mental disorders.

Authorities in East China's Fujian and Jiangxi provinces have also ordered province-wide screening of serious patients with an inclination towards violence.


1. What percentage of the 1,500 criminals evaluated were found to suffer from mental illness?

2. Roughly how many Chinese people suffered from mental illness in 2009?

3. What did the Ministry of Public Security vow last week?


1. 82 percent.

2. 100 million.

3. Expand treatment for Severe mental patients.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Crimes committed by mental patients

Crimes committed by mental patients

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China daily for one year.