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Nervenarzt. 2013 Jan;84(1):65-71. doi: 10.1007/s00115-011-3434-0.

[Persons held in preventive detention (§ 66 Criminal Code): characteristics of offenders and the impact on prospects for successful completion of therapy].

[Article in German]

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  • 1Zentrum für Forensische Psychiatrie, Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik Zürich, Lenggstr. 31, 8032 Zürich, Schweiz.


With its verdict in May 2011 the German Federal Constitutional Court declared the current law for preventive detention unconstitutional and obliged the legislative bodies to undertake a freedom- and treatment-oriented reform. Psychiatrists and psychotherapists are bound to provide therapeutic concepts. Currently there is a lack of information on the intended clientele. In our study we examined 26 persons serving preventive detention, 32 regular prisoners and 29 non-delinquent probands. The groups were matched according to age and intelligence. We gathered sociodemographic data, criminal records and conducted the tests SCID I, SCID II und PCL-R, K-FAF and BIS-11 to obtain diagnoses and characteristics. Based on this information, the HCR-20 and GAF were performed. In comparison to regular prisoners and non-delinquents, the group of those serving preventive detention is characterised by medium to advanced age, antisociality, psychopathy, substance abuse or addiction, aggressivity, a strong criminal record, years of imprisonment, insufficient educational and vocational training and a high risk of recidivism. In our examination of persons serving preventive detention, we demonstrate that this clientele is a group of recidivists difficult to treat. The current laws and a lack of early intervention programs have prevented and delayed their timely and possibly successful treatment. From a psychiatric point of view, there is a strong need for new therapeutic concepts to meet this challenge.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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