Jack Tomlin, Birgit Völlm


This paper provides an overview of some of the key features of forensic mental health systems around Europe. Forensic mental health systems share in common the aim to assist in the rehabilitation of people diagnosed with a mental disorder and reduce reoffending or risk of harm. How these aims are pursued varies across the continent. We suggest that best practices can be learnt from observing different countries’ approaches. This paper has six foci: legal traditions in Europe, the concept of criminal responsibility, patient pathways through forensic systems, epidemiological studies of forensic patients, training programmes in forensic mental health, and recent developments in the field across Europe. Readers should reflect on these topics in the context of their own country and how these diverge/converge from the countries described in this paper.

Keyword(s): Europe, forensic mental health, healthcare system, legal framework.

DOI: 10.35988/sm-hs.2021.237
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