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Hur bedöms farlighet? - En studie om återfallsriskbedömning i samband med domstolens omvandlingsprövning

Wikström, Emma LU (2011) JURM01 20102
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Genom att lag (2006:45) om omvandling av fängelse på livstid trädde i kraft 2006 kan en livstidsdömd som avtjänat tio år ansöka om att få sitt straff tidsbestämt hos, i första hand, tingsrätten i Örebro. Innan ett beslut i ett omvandlingsärende kan fattas ska domstolen bland annat genomföra en bedömning av den livstidsdömdes risk för återfall i allvarlig brottslighet. Enligt HD:s uttalanden i NJA 2008 s. 579 utgör en konkret och beaktansvärd risk för återfall i allvarlig brottslighet ett absolut hinder mot bifall. Uppsatsens huvudsakliga syfte är att utreda hur bedömningen av livstidsdömdas återfallsrisk vid en omvandlingsprövning går till, vilka regleringar det finns på området och om risken för återfall bör få ha avgörande betydelse vid... (More)
Genom att lag (2006:45) om omvandling av fängelse på livstid trädde i kraft 2006 kan en livstidsdömd som avtjänat tio år ansöka om att få sitt straff tidsbestämt hos, i första hand, tingsrätten i Örebro. Innan ett beslut i ett omvandlingsärende kan fattas ska domstolen bland annat genomföra en bedömning av den livstidsdömdes risk för återfall i allvarlig brottslighet. Enligt HD:s uttalanden i NJA 2008 s. 579 utgör en konkret och beaktansvärd risk för återfall i allvarlig brottslighet ett absolut hinder mot bifall. Uppsatsens huvudsakliga syfte är att utreda hur bedömningen av livstidsdömdas återfallsrisk vid en omvandlingsprövning går till, vilka regleringar det finns på området och om risken för återfall bör få ha avgörande betydelse vid en omvandlingsprövning.

Som stöd i domstolens återfallsriskbedömning inhämtas yttranden från Kriminalvården och från Rättsmedicinalverket. Övergripande regler för Rättsmedicinalverkets riskutredning finns i förordning (2006:1119), SOSFS (2006:16) och i verkets interna riktlinjer för riskutredningar. I Rättsmedicinalverkets yttrande till domstolen ska den dömdes risk för återfall i brottslighet anges som låg, medelhög eller hög. I en studie som genomfördes 2009 framkom ett tydligt samband mellan Örebro tingsrätts beslut och de fall där Rättsmedicinalverket graderat återfallsrisken som låg respektive hög. I de fall då återfallrisken istället bedömts som medelhög framstod utgången i omvandlingsärendet som mer osäker. Denna uppsats tar utgångspunkt i en rättsfallsstudie bestående av 15 ansökningar om omvandling av livstidsstraff vid Örebro tingsrätt, där Rättsmedicinalverket bedömt risken för återfall som medelhög. Studien syftar till att klargöra hur begreppet medelhög återfallsrisk tillämpas och slår i praktiken.

Med anledning av att de regler och riktlinjer som finns angående bedömningen av livstidsdömdas risk för återfall i brottslighet är relativt löst hållna, har mycket lämnats till Rättsmedicinalverket att själv avgöra hur riskutredningen ska genomföras och vilka faktorer som ska tillmätas betydelse. Till stöd för sin bedömning använder verket sig av olika riskbedömningsmodeller. Rättsmedicinalverkets slutliga bedömning har visat sig grundas sig på en sammanvägning av olika risk- och skyddsfaktorer för återfall i brottslighet hos den enskilde. Att Rättsmedicinalverket angett återfallsrisken som medelhög i de omvandlingsärenden som ingår i rättsfallsstudien beror på att såväl betydande riskfaktorer som skyddsfaktorer har identifierats hos de dömda. Rättsmedicinalverkets yttrande har vidare visat sig vara av stor betydelse för domstolens återfallsriskbedömning, då rättens bedömning ofta grundas på samma omständigheter som Rättsmedicinalverket gjort gällande i sitt yttrande.

Det som domstolen i synnerhet har fäst vikt vid i sin återfallsriskbedömning är den dömdes missbruksproblematik. Andra omständigheter som visat sig vara av stor betydelse är den dömdes ålder och huruvida den dömde påbörjat permissionsgång. Domstolens återfallsriskbedömning har vidare, i enlighet med de besked som HD lämnade 2008, visat sig vara avgörande för utgången i de omvandlingsärenden som ingår i rättsfallsstudien.

Återfallsriskbedömningen förefaller emellertid vara omgärdad av ett flertal osäkerhetsfaktorer och fullständigt säkra återfallsriskbedömningar är inte möjliga att genomföra. Vilken betydelse återfallsrisken bör ges vid omvandlingsprövningen är beroende av om intresset för samhällsskyddet eller intresset för den enskildes rätt till frihet anses väga tyngst. (Less)
Abstract
In 2006 the law (2006:45) on conversion of imprisonment for life was adopted. On account of this new act a possibility was introduced for prisoners serving life sentences to apply to have their penalties converted to fixed terms of imprisonment, primarily by the lower criminal court in Örebro. This providing they have served at least ten years in prison. The law (2006:45) on conversion of imprisonment for life contains a criterion concerning the risk of recidivism. The criterion implies that prior to a decision about conversion, the court must consider the offender´s risk of relapse into severe criminality. According to the Supreme Court's statements in NJA 2008 p. 579; an actual and considerable risk of relapse to severe criminality is an... (More)
In 2006 the law (2006:45) on conversion of imprisonment for life was adopted. On account of this new act a possibility was introduced for prisoners serving life sentences to apply to have their penalties converted to fixed terms of imprisonment, primarily by the lower criminal court in Örebro. This providing they have served at least ten years in prison. The law (2006:45) on conversion of imprisonment for life contains a criterion concerning the risk of recidivism. The criterion implies that prior to a decision about conversion, the court must consider the offender´s risk of relapse into severe criminality. According to the Supreme Court's statements in NJA 2008 p. 579; an actual and considerable risk of relapse to severe criminality is an absolute bar to approval. The main purpose of this thesis is to investigate and clarify how the risk of recidivism is assessed, which rules and guiding principles that are applied to the assessment and if the risk of recidivism should be crucial to the court’s decision.

Before the court reaches a decision on the conversion matter, it should obtain information concerning the offender in question from the Prison and Probation service and from the Board of Forensic Medicine (the Board). This information is supposed to serve as background to the court’s evaluation of the offender´s risk of recidivism. Fundamental rules for the Board’s risk assessment can be found in regulation (2006:1119), SOSFS (2006:16) and in the Board’s internal guidelines for risk studies. In accordance to these rules, the offender’s risk of recidivism is supposed to be stated as low, intermediate or high by the Board. A previous legal case study from 2009, found a correlation between the Board of Forensic Medicine’s statements concerning cases where the risk of relapse was consider low or high and how the court ruled in those cases. The outcome of the offender’s application for conversion seemed, on the other hand, less certain when the Board had set the offender´s risk of recidivism as intermediate. Thus, this thesis examines 15 cases from Örebro lower criminal court where prisoners serving life sentences have applied to have their penalties converted to fixed terms of imprisonment and the Board has set the risk of recidivism as intermediate. The study aims to clarify how the concept of intermediate risk is being applied in practice.

Given that the rules and guiding principles concerning the assessment of the offender’s risk of relapse to severe criminality are quite general, it is up to the Board to decide how to perform the risk assessment and which variables to consider. Different risk assessment models are being used by the Board to help the investigators to reach a conclusion considering the offender’s risk of recidivism. The Board’s final assessment is based on the offender’s various risk- and protective factors for recidivism. Concerning the 15 cases studied the reason that the Board considered the risk of relapse as intermediate for the offender was because both significant risk- and protective factors were identified. The court’s assessment is often based on the same circumstances as the Board has declared in their statement.

In the study, three circumstances were found that in particular have shown to be the most important to the court’s assessment of the offender´s risk of relapse to severe criminality. These circumstances were the offender´s potential use of illegal substances, the offender’s age and if the individual had begun its furlough. Different types of addictions have in particular been crucial to the court’s assessment. In accordance to the Supreme Court’s statement in 2008, Örebro lower criminal court’s consideration of the risk of recidivism has been shown to be crucial for if applications of conversion have been approved or rejected.

Because of the human inability to know what the future will bring, it is not possible to manage completely safe assessments of an offender’s risk of recidivism. To what extent the risk of relapse should be considered in limiting a life time imprisonment, is a matter of deciding whether social protection should be prioritized on behalf of individual freedom. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Wikström, Emma LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Can you predict criminal behavior? - A study of how the risk of recidivism is assessed in court
course
JURM01 20102
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
Straffrätt, omvandlingsprövning, Örebro tingsrätt, livstidsstraff, återfallsrisk, Rättsmedicinalverket
language
Swedish
id
1761672
date added to LUP
2011-01-13 14:47:31
date last changed
2011-02-02 17:12:08
@misc{1761672,
  abstract     = {In 2006 the law (2006:45) on conversion of imprisonment for life was adopted. On account of this new act a possibility was introduced for prisoners serving life sentences to apply to have their penalties converted to fixed terms of imprisonment, primarily by the lower criminal court in Örebro. This providing they have served at least ten years in prison. The law (2006:45) on conversion of imprisonment for life contains a criterion concerning the risk of recidivism. The criterion implies that prior to a decision about conversion, the court must consider the offender´s risk of relapse into severe criminality. According to the Supreme Court's statements in NJA 2008 p. 579; an actual and considerable risk of relapse to severe criminality is an absolute bar to approval. The main purpose of this thesis is to investigate and clarify how the risk of recidivism is assessed, which rules and guiding principles that are applied to the assessment and if the risk of recidivism should be crucial to the court’s decision.  

Before the court reaches a decision on the conversion matter, it should obtain information concerning the offender in question from the Prison and Probation service and from the Board of Forensic Medicine (the Board). This information is supposed to serve as background to the court’s evaluation of the offender´s risk of recidivism. Fundamental rules for the Board’s risk assessment can be found in regulation (2006:1119), SOSFS (2006:16) and in the Board’s internal guidelines for risk studies. In accordance to these rules, the offender’s risk of recidivism is supposed to be stated as low, intermediate or high by the Board. A previous legal case study from 2009, found a correlation between the Board of Forensic Medicine’s statements concerning cases where the risk of relapse was consider low or high and how the court ruled in those cases. The outcome of the offender’s application for conversion seemed, on the other hand, less certain when the Board had set the offender´s risk of recidivism as intermediate. Thus, this thesis examines 15 cases from Örebro lower criminal court where prisoners serving life sentences have applied to have their penalties converted to fixed terms of imprisonment and the Board has set the risk of recidivism as intermediate. The study aims to clarify how the concept of intermediate risk is being applied in practice. 

Given that the rules and guiding principles concerning the assessment of the offender’s risk of relapse to severe criminality are quite general, it is up to the Board to decide how to perform the risk assessment and which variables to consider. Different risk assessment models are being used by the Board to help the investigators to reach a conclusion considering the offender’s risk of recidivism. The Board’s final assessment is based on the offender’s various risk- and protective factors for recidivism. Concerning the 15 cases studied the reason that the Board considered the risk of relapse as intermediate for the offender was because both significant risk- and protective factors were identified. The court’s assessment is often based on the same circumstances as the Board has declared in their statement. 

In the study, three circumstances were found that in particular have shown to be the most important to the court’s assessment of the offender´s risk of relapse to severe criminality. These circumstances were the offender´s potential use of illegal substances, the offender’s age and if the individual had begun its furlough. Different types of addictions have in particular been crucial to the court’s assessment. In accordance to the Supreme Court’s statement in 2008, Örebro lower criminal court’s consideration of the risk of recidivism has been shown to be crucial for if applications of conversion have been approved or rejected. 

Because of the human inability to know what the future will bring, it is not possible to manage completely safe assessments of an offender’s risk of recidivism. To what extent the risk of relapse should be considered in limiting a life time imprisonment, is a matter of deciding whether social protection should be prioritized on behalf of individual freedom.},
  author       = {Wikström, Emma},
  keyword      = {Straffrätt,omvandlingsprövning,Örebro tingsrätt,livstidsstraff,återfallsrisk,Rättsmedicinalverket},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Hur bedöms farlighet? - En studie om återfallsriskbedömning i samband med domstolens omvandlingsprövning},
  year         = {2011},
}