Objectives: It is unknown whether evidence-based, in-hospital processes of care may influence the risk of criminal behaviour among patients with schizophrenia. Our study aimed to examine the association between guideline recommended in-hospital psychiatric care and criminal behaviour among patients with schizophrenia. Methods: Danish patients with schizophrenia (18 years or older) discharged from a psychiatric ward between January 2004 and March 2009 were identified using a national population-based schizophrenia registry (n = 10 757). Data for in-hospital care and patient characteristics were linked with data on criminal charges obtained from the Danish Crime Registry until November 2010. Results: Twenty per cent (n = 2175) of patients were charged with a crime during follow-up (median = 428 days). Violent crimes accounted for 59% (n = 1282) of the criminal offences. The lowest risk of crime was found among patients receiving the most processes of in hospital care (top quartile of received recommended care, compared with bottom quartiles, adjusted hazard ratio = 0.86, 95% CI 0.75 to 0.99). The individual processes of care associated with the lowest risk of criminal behaviour were antipsychotic treatment and staff contact with relatives. Conclusions: High-quality, in-hospital psychiatric care was associated with a lower risk of criminal behaviour after discharge among patients with schizophrenia.