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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-47293

Konrad, N; Lau, S (2010). Dealing with the mentally ill in the criminal justice system in Germany. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 33(4):236-240.

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Mentally disordered prisoners in Germany are subject to special legal regulations, which can be traced back to the 1933 "Dangerous Habitual Offenders and their Detention and Rehabilitation Act". There are no special diversion programs in Germany but diversion does in fact happen via legal regulations that are based on the construct of legal responsibility. Diversion refers to the removal of offenders from the criminal justice system at any stage of the procedure and court proceedings. In recent years the number of occupied beds in forensic psychiatric hospitals has continued to rise. At the same time the number of people in prisons has slightly decreased while there has been a slight increase in the number of available beds in general psychiatry. Germany experienced public and media concern about the risk posed by conditionally released mentally ill offenders and other perceived inadequacies in the criminal justice system. Therefore the way in which prisoners or forensic patients are supervised after they have been discharged was reformed in 2007 in order to assure a more efficient control of their conduct after their release from custody by means of mandatory treatment and monitoring. Special outpatient clinics were to assist discharged patients in complying with the conditions of probation and parole. However organisational structures for these specialised outpatient institutions vary within Germany because of its federal administration. This results in regional differences in conditions of treatment and probably in differences in quality as well, but surveys about the effects, efficacy or effectiveness of forensic outpatient treatment in Germany are scarce.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:01 Mar 2011 16:02
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:52
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.ijlp.2010.06.005
PubMed ID:20667595

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