Psychopathy and violence: a criminological review

Laura De Fazio, Federico Bignardi Baracchi, Chiara Sgarbi


The aim of this article is to analyse, from a criminological point of view, the concept of psychopathy, aetiology, comorbidity,
and the classification of psychopathic personalities, as well as their criminal-violent dimension, considering also criminal
career and recurring typologies of crimes. In fact, the typical criminal history of psychopathic offender is characterized by
a broad criminal versatility and by a high degree of recidivism. Thus, psychopathy is basically discovered among murderers,
serial killers, sexual offenders and white-collar criminals. Starting from a review of the most recent and important references
on definition aspects and the existing link between psicopathy and violent behaviors, the article also tackles the complicated
issues of culpability and prison treatment of psychopaths.

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