In a dramatic break with conventional western approaches to dealing with crimes involving individuals who are judged to have mental illness issues, the government of Sweden is proposing a new look at this issue. Courts in Sweden will no longer have the option to sentence criminals to serve time in secure psychiatric units. Justice Minster Beatrice Ask and Social Affairs Minister Goran Hogglund are proposing new procedures which will result in freedom for individuals judged guilty on the basis of insanity. Their program is based on a 2002 report which states, “if they(criminal) as a result of a serious psychiatric disturbance, temporary mental condition, serious learning difficulty or serious demented state lacked the ability to appreciate the consequences of an action” the individual will not be judged to be guilty of a crime.
As of this point, it is unclear what, if any, programs will be instituted to assist such individuals to get back on the road to mental health. Hopefully, they will be compelled to undergo some form of psychiatric assistance after being judged innocent.