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Ugeskr Laeger. 2010 Aug 30;172(35):2366-70.

[Psychiatric treatment sentences].

[Article in Danish]

Author information

  • 1Center for Registerforskning, Aarhus Universitet, 8000 Arhus C, Denmark. hs@ncrr.dk



Previous Danish studies of the increasing number of sentences to psychiatric treatment (SPT) have compared prevalent populations of persons undergoing treatment with incident measures of reported crimes. Examining the period 1990-2006, we studied incident sentences, taking the type and severity of crime into account.


Using data from Statistics Denmark's national crime statistics, we have compared time-trends of SPT with time-trends of suspended and custodial sentences stratified by type of crime.


We found that the rise in SPT is primarily attributable to violent offending, and that particularly assaults against public servants have contributed to the development.


Regarding violent offences against private persons, the time-trends for SPT are parallel to the time-trends for suspended and custodial sentences, which may indicate that the same societal factors, including propensity to report, police priorities and court practices, are involved both generally and amongst psychiatric patients. Conversely, the rise in violent offences against public servants is higher amongst SPTs. This can conceivably be connected to both conditions, leading to more confrontations and changes in practices, e.g., for reporting violence against staff. However, if a civil person is the victim of a violent offence, the probability of the perpetrator being a psychiatric patient is small and has remained virtually unchanged since 1990.

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