Minister to lock up all TBS criminals

21st March 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 March 2005, AMSTERDAM — Psychiatrically disturbed criminals will no longer remain in the community while awaiting treatment in a secure hospital, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has said.

21 March 2005

AMSTERDAM — Psychiatrically disturbed criminals will no longer remain in the community while awaiting treatment in a secure hospital, Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner has said.

The minister also told MPs he intends to compel all forensic-psychiatric institutes to admit criminals sentenced to TBS psychiatric detention. Donner will formulate an admissions obligation with the Health and Finance ministries.

TBS can only come into force after the offender's sentence can no longer be appealed, but Donner is dissatisfied with present regulations. He is investigating whether a judge can order an interim admission of a convicted criminal, pending the finalisation of any outstanding appeals.

The minister was responding to a murder in Doetinchem, in which a 54-year-old man was alleged killed in the street by a man who had been sentenced 10 days earlier to conditional TBS detention for another offence.

Justice officials ad been unable to obtain a detention order for the man because he could still appeal to a higher court for cassation, news agency ANP reported on Monday.

The trial court had ordered the 24-year-old man, who is now suspected of the Doetinchem murder in 2003, to serve eight months in jail before being admitted to a TBS detention clinic for the prior offence.

But an appeals court varied the order on 21 October last year and imposed an eight-month jail term and a conditional TBS sentence. Due to the amount of time the man had spent in remand detention, he was released following the ruling in the appeal court.

Conditional TBS detention means that convicted criminals can attend outpatients' treatment or be admitted to a secure clinic. Donner now wants all TBS criminals to be admitted. 

Judges imposed conditional TBS on 76 occasions last year, 20 more than in 2003. It has previously been reported that TBS institutes for dangerous criminals are facing capacity problems. Hundreds of dangerous criminals are being detained in less secure clinics.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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