Home / Podcasts / The Connection Between Crime and Mental Illness with Dr. Jhilam Biswas

The Connection Between Crime and Mental Illness with Dr. Jhilam Biswas

Aug 16, 2023

Today, Arden hosts Dr. Jhilam Biswas, an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a board-certified Adult and Forensic Psychiatrist. They discuss the connection between crime and mental illness. Dr. Biswas examines how frequently violent behavior and impaired judgment are rooted in trauma. She outlines the steps taken to evaluate the mentally ill and how, unfortunately, becoming involved in the judicial system may provide insight into the incarcerated. Don’t miss this informative episode of Beyond the Balance Sheet.


  • [01:10] Arden introduces Dr. Jhilam Biswas and shares her background and accomplishments, and Dr. Jhilam Biswas defines forensic psychiatry
  • [05:58] Jhilam discusses violent behavior, impaired judgment, and trauma
  • [11:13] Jhilam explains the steps she would go through to evaluate a trauma victim
  • [16:02] The lack of awareness of a patient makes treatment more difficult
  • [20:54] How the rock bottom moment in the penal system can provide a respite period. Discussion of socio-economic levels as they relate to mental illness
  • [28:11] Jhilam shares a story of helping an individual accused of murder


  • All socioeconomic groups are affected by mental illness.
  • When mentally ill individuals are unaware of their disease, they are much less likely to understand they need treatment.
  • A traumatic brain injury can contribute to mental illness, and unfortunately, since a brain injury cannot be seen, it may be discounted by untrained professionals.


Beyond the Balance Sheet Website

Dr. Jhilam Biswas – LinkedIn

Dr. Jhilam Biswas – Facebook


Jhilam Biswas, MD, is an Instructor in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and board certified in Adult and Forensic Psychiatry. She is the Director of the Psychiatry, Law and Society Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, and the Co-Director of the Harvard Mass General Brigham Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship. She is a clinician and researcher in psycho-legal issues, acute psychiatric care, and physician wellbeing, and she was awarded the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society’s Award for Outstanding Psychiatrist in Early Career in 2023 for her contributions to these areas. Her research is focused on improving mental health laws so they better serve patients and their families and caregivers. Dr. Biswas has published in JAMA, Harvard Review of Psychiatry, and the Journal of American Academy of Psychiatry and Law and has been quoted in the Boston Globe, ProPublica, CBS This Morning, Forbes, and the New York Times.


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