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Hur ska vi hantera de psykiskt störda lagöverträdarna inom rättssystemet? - En analys av 2008 års reform.

Jeppsson, Sofie LU (2010) JURM01 20101
Department of Law
Abstract
How mentally disordered offenders should be treated in the justice system is an issue constantly under discussion. This group has for a long time been treated differently in criminal law. The questions of these offenders are very complex and no easy solutions are likely to find. This area is characterized by conflicting interests, where humanity and public protection are two of the most central.

Over the past fifteen years, a number of government investigations have been presented. The investigations have included various proposals on how to improve the situation for mentally disordered offenders and also for society in large. There are very few investigations that have led to any changes, except for a reform that came 2008. The reform... (More)
How mentally disordered offenders should be treated in the justice system is an issue constantly under discussion. This group has for a long time been treated differently in criminal law. The questions of these offenders are very complex and no easy solutions are likely to find. This area is characterized by conflicting interests, where humanity and public protection are two of the most central.

Over the past fifteen years, a number of government investigations have been presented. The investigations have included various proposals on how to improve the situation for mentally disordered offenders and also for society in large. There are very few investigations that have led to any changes, except for a reform that came 2008. The reform from 2008 “Penalties for mentally disordered offenders”, were directed to correct some deficiencies in the system for mentally disordered offenders. The aim was not to make a fundamental reform of the system. The largest change was that instead of using an absolute ban on prison for mentally disordered offenders we now apply a presumption against imprisonment. Imprisonment may today be imposed as a penalty even though an offender has been seriously mentally disturbed during the offense, if there are exceptional reasons. Exceptional reasons can for example be a very serious crime and that the offender at the time of sentencing is of limited or no need of psychiatric care. Prison may still not be imposed for the “most severely mentally disordered”, that is, those who lacked an understanding for his actions or was incapable of controlling his actions.

The purpose of the reform from 2008 was to increase the flexibility in the process of determining penalties for mentally disordered offenders, this by creating room for proportionality and considering the individuals need for psychiatric care.

The purpose of my essay is to investigate the background of the reform from 2008, what the reform means and what impact it can have. I will also describe the general problems that are associated with mentally disordered offenders and give an idea of how a future legislation might look like.

There are a lot of deficiencies in the current provisions regarding mentally disordered offenders. A small part of these have been corrected by the reform, but at the same time it has given new difficulties. Most of the shortcomings in the system still exist. Some of the problems with the current system are that it does not sufficiently distinguish between care and punishment, that an offender must be found guilty of an offence to receive treatment. Furthermore it is an immense problem that mentally disordered offenders who are not found to be seriously mentally disturbed and therefore are sentenced to prison does not receive requisite psychiatric care.

To overcome the problems mentioned above, there are many who advocate a radical reform of the system. Among the bodies considering the proposed legislation half was critical to the reform and even among the bodies that endorsed the reform there was a consensus that a more fundamental reform should have been introduced instead. In 2002, a report was introduced by the so-called Psych responsibility committee, but their proposal did not lead to any legislative changes. The report contained a lot of proposals for fundamental changes of the system for mentally disordered offenders. In brief, the proposal was that accountability once again becomes a prerequisite for criminal liability and that general penalty rules would apply to those who were judged to be accountable. In a reformed system the need for psychiatric care would not control the choice of sanctions but instead affect the execution. Many believe that such a system in a better way would promote the requirements of foresee ability and proportionality.

The proposals in the report of 2002 have continuously been discussed and in the reform from 2008 the government wrote that they are working on implementing a major reform based on the report that Psych responsibility committee presented. The government however writes that this will take more time and considerations before such a change could be achieved. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Hur psykiskt störda lagöverträdare ska behandlas inom rättssystemet är en fråga som ständigt diskuteras. Denna grupp har sedan lång tid tillbaka särbehandlats inom straffrätten. Problematiken kring dessa lagöverträdare är väldigt komplex och några enkla lösningar går troligen inte att finna. Området präglas av motstående intressen, där humanitet och samhällsskydd är två av de mest centrala.

Under de senaste femton åren har ett antal statliga utredningar lagts fram. Utredningarna har innehållit olika förslag på hur man kan förbättra situationen för de psykiskt störda lagöverträdarna och även för samhället i stort. Det är väldigt få utredningar som lett till förändring men 2008 kom en reform som medförde vissa lagändringar på det aktuella... (More)
Hur psykiskt störda lagöverträdare ska behandlas inom rättssystemet är en fråga som ständigt diskuteras. Denna grupp har sedan lång tid tillbaka särbehandlats inom straffrätten. Problematiken kring dessa lagöverträdare är väldigt komplex och några enkla lösningar går troligen inte att finna. Området präglas av motstående intressen, där humanitet och samhällsskydd är två av de mest centrala.

Under de senaste femton åren har ett antal statliga utredningar lagts fram. Utredningarna har innehållit olika förslag på hur man kan förbättra situationen för de psykiskt störda lagöverträdarna och även för samhället i stort. Det är väldigt få utredningar som lett till förändring men 2008 kom en reform som medförde vissa lagändringar på det aktuella området. 2008 års reform ”Påföljder för psykiskt störda lagöverträdare” var inriktad på att korrigera vissa brister i lagstiftningen kring psykiskt störda lagöverträdare. Syftet var således inte att göra någon genomgripande reform av systemet. Förändringarna innebär bland annat att man istället för ett absolut fängelseförbud ska tillämpa en presumtion mot fängelse. Fängelse kan dömas ut som påföljd trots att personen varit allvarligt psykiskt störd vid gärningstillfället, under förutsättning att det föreligger synnerliga skäl. Synnerliga skäl kan exempelvis vara förhanden om ett mycket allvarligt brott begåtts och gärningsmannen vid domstillfället har ett begränsat eller obefintligt behov av psykiatrisk vård. Fängelse får fortfarande inte dömas ut för de ”mest allvarligt psykiskt störda”, det vill säga de som saknat insikt om sin gärnings natur eller saknat förmåga att kontrollera sitt handlande.

Syftet med 2008 års reform är enligt förarbetena att öka flexibiliteten vid påföljdsbestämningen avseende de psykiskt störda lagöverträdarna och därigenom skapa utrymme för proportionalitetsbedömningar samtidigt som den enskildes behov av vård ska beaktas.

Syftet med min uppsats är att utreda vad bakgrunden till 2008 års reform är, vad reformen innebär och vilka konsekvenser den kan få. Jag kommer även redogöra för den allmänna problematiken kring de psykiskt störda lagöverträdarna samt ge en bild av hur en eventuell framtida lagstiftning kan komma att se ut.

Det finns en hel del brister i dagens reglering avseende de psykiskt störda lagöverträdarna. En liten del av dessa har korrigerats genom 2008 års reform men samtidigt har lagändringarna gett upphov till nya svårigheter. De flesta bristerna i systemet finns således fortfarande kvar. Några av de mest centrala problemen med dagens system är att man inte i tillräcklig utsträckning skiljer på vård och straff, att en lagöverträdare måste fällas till ansvar för brott för att kunna få vård samt att de psykiskt störda lagöverträdare som inte bedöms vara allvarligt psykiskt störda och som döms till fängelse inte får tillgång till erforderlig vård inom ramen för verkställigheten.

För att komma tillrätta med ovannämnda problem är det många som förespråkar en genomgripande reform av systemet. Ungefär hälften av de tillfrågade remissinstanserna ställde sig kritiska till att införa 2008 års reform och även bland de instanser som tillstyrkte reformen fanns det en konsensus gällande att en mer genomgripande reform borde ha införts. År 2002 lades ett betänkande fram av den så kallade Psykansvarskommittén, förslaget ledde emellertid inte till någon ny lagstiftning. Betänkandet innehöll en hel del förslag på grundläggande förändringar av systemet gällande psykiskt störda lagöverträdare. I korthet innebar förslaget att tillräknelighet (ansvarsförmåga) återigen skulle bli ett krav för straffrättsligt ansvar och att allmänna påföljdsregler skulle gälla för de som bedömdes vara tillräkneliga. I ett reformerat system skulle vårdbehovet inte styra påföljdsvalet utan istället påverka verkställigheten av påföljden. Många menar att ett sådant system på ett bättre sätt skulle kunna främja kraven på förutsebarhet och proportionalitet.

Det som föreslogs i betänkandet från år 2002 är fortfarande aktuellt och i propositionen till 2008 års begränsade reform skriver regeringen att de arbetar på att genomföra en större reform med utgångspunkt i det som Psykansvarskommittén lade fram. Regeringen skriver dock att det krävs mer tid och noggranna överväganden innan en sådan förändring kan bli verklighet. (Less)
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author
Jeppsson, Sofie LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM01 20101
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Straffrätt
language
Swedish
id
1687014
date added to LUP
2010-09-28 16:13:48
date last changed
2010-09-28 16:13:48
@misc{1687014,
  abstract     = {How mentally disordered offenders should be treated in the justice system is an issue constantly under discussion. This group has for a long time been treated differently in criminal law. The questions of these offenders are very complex and no easy solutions are likely to find. This area is characterized by conflicting interests, where humanity and public protection are two of the most central.

Over the past fifteen years, a number of government investigations have been presented. The investigations have included various proposals on how to improve the situation for mentally disordered offenders and also for society in large. There are very few investigations that have led to any changes, except for a reform that came 2008. The reform from 2008 “Penalties for mentally disordered offenders”, were directed to correct some deficiencies in the system for mentally disordered offenders. The aim was not to make a fundamental reform of the system. The largest change was that instead of using an absolute ban on prison for mentally disordered offenders we now apply a presumption against imprisonment. Imprisonment may today be imposed as a penalty even though an offender has been seriously mentally disturbed during the offense, if there are exceptional reasons. Exceptional reasons can for example be a very serious crime and that the offender at the time of sentencing is of limited or no need of psychiatric care. Prison may still not be imposed for the “most severely mentally disordered”, that is, those who lacked an understanding for his actions or was incapable of controlling his actions.

The purpose of the reform from 2008 was to increase the flexibility in the process of determining penalties for mentally disordered offenders, this by creating room for proportionality and considering the individuals need for psychiatric care.

The purpose of my essay is to investigate the background of the reform from 2008, what the reform means and what impact it can have. I will also describe the general problems that are associated with mentally disordered offenders and give an idea of how a future legislation might look like.

There are a lot of deficiencies in the current provisions regarding mentally disordered offenders. A small part of these have been corrected by the reform, but at the same time it has given new difficulties. Most of the shortcomings in the system still exist. Some of the problems with the current system are that it does not sufficiently distinguish between care and punishment, that an offender must be found guilty of an offence to receive treatment. Furthermore it is an immense problem that mentally disordered offenders who are not found to be seriously mentally disturbed and therefore are sentenced to prison does not receive requisite psychiatric care.

To overcome the problems mentioned above, there are many who advocate a radical reform of the system. Among the bodies considering the proposed legislation half was critical to the reform and even among the bodies that endorsed the reform there was a consensus that a more fundamental reform should have been introduced instead. In 2002, a report was introduced by the so-called Psych responsibility committee, but their proposal did not lead to any legislative changes. The report contained a lot of proposals for fundamental changes of the system for mentally disordered offenders. In brief, the proposal was that accountability once again becomes a prerequisite for criminal liability and that general penalty rules would apply to those who were judged to be accountable. In a reformed system the need for psychiatric care would not control the choice of sanctions but instead affect the execution. Many believe that such a system in a better way would promote the requirements of foresee ability and proportionality.

The proposals in the report of 2002 have continuously been discussed and in the reform from 2008 the government wrote that they are working on implementing a major reform based on the report that Psych responsibility committee presented. The government however writes that this will take more time and considerations before such a change could be achieved.},
  author       = {Jeppsson, Sofie},
  keyword      = {Straffrätt},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Hur ska vi hantera de psykiskt störda lagöverträdarna inom rättssystemet? - En analys av 2008 års reform.},
  year         = {2010},
}