Do previous offences predict violent acts in psychiatric patients? A retrospective study in Hungary

Brigitta Baran, Ferenc Ádám Szabó, Borbála Kara, Magdolna Kovács, Adél Uzonyi, Albert Antal, Gábor S. Ungvári, Gábor Gazdag

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: To investigate the presence of offences in the previous past history of perpetrators of violent acts who have undergone forced medical treatment. Methods: The documentation of all patients released over a 10-year period from the National Institute of Forensic Psychiatry (IMEI) was reviewed. A comparison was drawn between patients who were convicted of any type of offense before the violent act (patients with previous offences-PPO) and those who were not (patients with no previous offences-PNO). Results: Eighty-six (29%) and 208 (71 %) patients förmed the PPO and PNO groups, respectively. Prior contact with psychiatric services was significantly higher in the PPO group (p=0.038) and this group was alsó more likely to offend under the influence of a psychoactive substance (p<0.001). Exceptional brutality and other qualifying factors were more frequent in the PNO group (p=0.019). Conclusion: As IMEI is the only forensic institution in Hungary, the picture presented here reflects the situation in the entire country. A recidivism rate of 29% is within the internationally published range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-104
Number of pages6
JournalIdeggyogyaszati szemle
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 30 2015



  • Forensic psychiatric service
  • Recidivism
  • Substance abuse
  • Violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Baran, B., Szabó, F. Á., Kara, B., Kovács, M., Uzonyi, A., Antal, A., Ungvári, G. S., & Gazdag, G. (2015). Do previous offences predict violent acts in psychiatric patients? A retrospective study in Hungary. Ideggyogyaszati szemle, 68(3-4), 99-104.