• Sweden edition
 
Sweden mulls scrapping mental care as penalty
Huddinge psychiatric clinic, south of Stockholm.

Sweden mulls scrapping mental care as penalty

Published: 03 Apr 2012 13:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Apr 2012 13:08 GMT+02:00

A recent investigation into psychiatric legislation, presented to minister for social affairs Göran Hägglund on Tuesday, suggests scrapping the possibility for courts to sentence criminals to compulsory institutional care.

The government appointed committee, which has been looking into Swedish laws on compulsory institutional care since 2008, proposes that Sweden follows the line of many other western countries in regards to institutional care and psychiatric treatment.

In order for criminals to be convicted and sentenced to prison, suspects would still have to be considered responsible for their own actions.

Those suffering from a mental disorder but considered as responsible for their actions could therefore receive prison sentences, which today is not possible.

However, the proposal adds that it is important even for these to receive psychiatric care in prison at an early stage.

But Mikael Rying, criminologist at the Mid Sweden University (Mittuniversitetet) in Sundsvall, is critical of the proposal.

“It isn’t as if I am for more lenient punishments but it is reasonable these people should be treated in places where there are people with the expertise to deal with them,” he told news agency TT.

According to Rying, the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården) simply can’t cope with these individuals.

“I have read over 2,000 investigations about lethal violence and I am convinced that dangerous behaviour won’t go away with severe punishment. A large share of these people are mentally ill or have a personality disorder,” he told TT.

“Whichever is the case, these people need to return to society again some day and what should be important for society is how to prevent them from falling back into a criminal behaviour.”

In the 1970s, two out of three murderers wee convicted to psychiatric care. Last year, that number was 13 percent.

“The question is therefore if we really need new legislation at all,” Rying told the paper.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

20:26 April 3, 2012 by Abe L
If you just keep these locked up they don't cost the taxpayer more money, they won't require special individual care and do not pose a threat to society due to possible release.

It's cool if you're crazy, but if you commit crimes because you're crazy then you belong behind bars, just like a regular criminal. It's much more important that these kind of people get longer sentences to keep them locked up longer and prolonging of those sentences if they end up committing crimes while imprisoned.
21:02 April 3, 2012 by johan rebel
"I am convinced that dangerous behaviour won't go away with severe punishment"

Yeah, right, but if you keep 'm behind bars, the opportunities for dangerous behavior will be severely restricted.

Scrap the mental care penalty and introduce genuine life without parole.
08:07 April 4, 2012 by jostein
If i destroyed the lives of several people due to personal fallacies of mine, would i really want to walk free as soon as im declared relatively non insane? Or would i be sympathetic to atoning for my crimes?

Sure, its a thorny issue. But sentencing based on the crime and then offering care is the least of alot of evils. Imho. I dont think the swedish "justice" system is there yet. But this at least is a step in the right direction.
11:23 April 4, 2012 by Da Goat
better still "natural selection" should take place for criminal-crazies!

if its broke dump it!
14:08 April 4, 2012 by Puffin
Of course they won't be able to scrap it as the prison service is totally unable to cope with psychiatric problem - they rely on being able to ship people with psychiatric problems to the Forensic psychiatric service to deal with

The strange thing is that forensic patients - on average - serve longer than prisoners

- prisoners in the vast majority of cases have a release date from the start regardless of whether they have been rehabilitated/cured etc - they are just let out

- psychiatric sentences have a condition that there should be a low risk of any reoofending - it is not the hospitals that decide whether a forensic patient is released but the courts
Today's headlines
Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat
Rickard Rundgren Björk of the coastguard services speaks to the media after the rescue operation on April 19th 2014. Photo: Maja Suslin /TT

Three rescued after cruise ship sinks boat

Three Saturday morning sailors had a lucky escape after their small boat collided and sank after it crashed into a cruise ship whilst sailing in the Stockholm archipelago. READ () »

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK
Sofie Marie Jansson. Photo: Metropolitan Police

Missing Swede found alive and well in UK

British police have found the missing Swedish girl Sofie Jansson in London, exactly a week after she was last seen, with authorities saying she is doing well. READ () »

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Social Democrats make tax pledge to elderly

Sweden's opposition party have stepped up its efforts to secure the pensioner vote by pledging to lower taxes for the elderly and make higher earners pay more. READ () »

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend
Showan Shattak pictured in Malmö before his attack. Photo: Facebook

Malmö Nazi attack victim on the mend

The 25-year-old man, whose stabbing by neo-Nazis sparked mass demonstrations across Sweden, has made a strong recovery in hospital and took to social media to thank supporters for campaigning against fascism. READ () »

Police seeking missing Swede in London

British police have issued a plea for tips in the search to find Swedish national Sofie Marie Jansson who hasn't been seen for almost a week. READ () »

University applications rocket to record high

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row. READ () »

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot
Swedish artist Lars Vilks pictured in New York in 2012. Photo: Linus Sundahl-Djerf/TT

Man jailed in US over Lars Vilks murder plot

American authorities have sentenced a 20-year-old accomplice of 'Jihad Jane' to five years in prison for an attempted terror plot to kill Swedish artist Lars Vilks, after getting involved with the murder plans when he was a teenager. READ () »

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

744
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com