Criminogenic Factors, Psychotic Symptoms, and Incident Arrests Among People With Serious Mental Illnesses Under Intensive Outpatient Treatment

Although research robustly indicates that general or “criminogenic” factors predict various measures of recidivism, there is controversy about the extent to which these factors, versus untreated symptoms, lead to justice involvement for people with mental illnesses. Based on a sample of 183 people in intensive outpatient treatment followed for an average period of 34.5 months, the present study tested whether criminogenic factors (i.e., factor-analytically derived proxies of some of the “Central Eight”; Andrews & Bonta, 2010) and psychotic symptoms were independently associated with arrest. The study also compared the predictive utility of these domains. In the fully adjusted model, the antisocial subscale and male sex were associated with increased arrest rates, whereas psychosis and age were associated with decreased arrest rates. Criminogenic factors and psychotic symptoms had comparable predictive utility. We conclude that criminogenic factors—chiefly arrest history—and psychotic symptoms predict arrest rates. Both sets of variables appear useful for assessing risk of arrest among people with mental illnesses who are not under current correctional supervision.