Mentally ill offenders in prison: the Belgian case

Stijn Vandevelde, Veerle Soyez, Tom Vander Beken, Stefaan De Smet, Anja Boers, Eric Broekaert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


According to the EUPRIS-study on mental health in prisons (2007), available data on mental disorders in prison are scarce. Therefore, this study aims at summarizing and discussing the available knowledge on incarcerated mentally ill offenders concerning: (1) the screening and assessment for detecting mental health; (2) the psychiatric expertise in order to evaluate the mental status; and (3) the development and provision of forensic psychiatric treatment and care. These findings will be applied to the current situation in Belgium, which is a particularly interesting case. Belgium is currently facing difficulties concerning a large population of interned mentally ill offenders residing in correctional establishments. Implications with regard to the penal code, general or mental health legislation, screening, assessment, and treatment could deliver interesting viewpoints on how this problem could be tackled more effectively. Therefore, the findings will be discussed with reference to the international scientific and policy debate, focusing on ethical implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-78
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2010


  • Belgium
  • Female
  • Forensic Psychiatry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Mental Disorders
  • Prisoners
  • Professional Competence
  • Psychiatry
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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