Recidivism in Medication-Noncompliant Serious Juvenile Offenders With Bipolar Disorder
J Clin Psychiatry 2005;66(4):477-484
© Copyright 2016 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Objective: To determine whether the recidivism
rate varies for adolescent serious juvenile offenders with
bipolar disorder in response to compliance with antimanic
Method: Probation records were reviewed for all
adolescents (N = 31) released during a 1-year period (April 1,
1993-March 31, 1994) from a county juvenile corrections treatment
facility who had DSM-III-R bipolar disorder, were stabilized on
medication, and had agreed to continue treatment at an adolescent
psychiatry clinic. New offenses and probation violations
committed during the 12-month period after release were tallied.
These recidivism records were then compared with medical records
to ascertain whether these acts were committed while subjects
were on (taking) or off (not taking) medication.
Results: The number of serious offenses
(felonies and misdemeanors) was significantly reduced while
subjects were on medication (4 offenses in 2992 days) versus off
medication (39 offenses in 6108 days) (p < .0001). The
off-medication rate of offending was 4.8 times higher than the
on-medication rate. Probation violations were also significantly
reduced while subjects were on medication (p < .001).
Conclusion: Compliance with prescribed antimanic
medication can markedly decrease recidivism in serious juvenile
delinquents with bipolar disorder.