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PTSD, panic disorder and alcohol use disorder as a triple threat for violence among male jail detainees

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Psychology Volume: 11 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2021 Pages: 21-29
Date Published
March 2021
9 pages

The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder (PD), and alcohol-use disorder (AUD) among adult males detained in rural jails and identified their associations with violent offenses.


The sample consisted of 349 males recently booked into local jails. The Comprehensive Addictions and Psychological Evaluation – 5 was administered to assess mental health conditions. Bivariate statistics and multivariate logistic regression were used to examine associations between PTSD, PD, AUD and violent offenses. A disproportionate number of participants met criteria for PTSD, PD and AUD. Co-occurrence was prevalent among detainees booked for violent offenses, with 25 percent reporting symptoms of all three disorders. PD emerged as the strongest single condition associated with violence, while the combination of PTSD, PD, and AUD significantly increased the likelihood of violent offenses. A better understanding of the relationship between mental health conditions and violent offenses is essential for efficacious assessment and treatment. Appropriately informed mental health care for jail detainees can increase public safety and guide practices for addressing these conditions within criminal justice populations. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to examine the association between PTSD, PD, AUD and violent offenses drawn from local detention centers. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: March 1, 2021