This is the hardest mode of functioning to impact by external measures as both the source and target are internal to the agent. In the context of crime, therefore, this represents the small minority of offenders who may be mentally disturbed and who commit crimes driven by impulses with no obvious direct relationship to the targets that they are acted upon. If we accept that this reflects a psychological disintegration of the individual, then crime prevention measures may be effective in early intervention, such as those suggested by Farrington and others (Baldry and Winkel, 2001; Farrington, 1993, 1996). While it is recognised that offences committed by the mentally ill are relatively rare, they seem to nevertheless occupy a disproportionate significance in the public fear of crime, and the media are always quick to highlight 'failures' in the system. Therefore a number of political agendas could be served by directing resources towards interventions that diffuse the burden for affecting psychological change to include the support services, not just the criminal justice system.
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