Ministry reassured – Solution: mentally ill offenders must remain in custody

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The fear was that many mentally ill criminals would be released without conditions as a result of a September 1 amendment. A bolt was put on the ministry.

Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter captive in the basement for 25 years and fathered seven children with her. Philipp K. Or Estibaliz C., the “Ice Woman,” who concreted the bodies of two dead men in an ice box in Vienna-Meidling, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2011 for the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend. They are all affected by the enforcement of measures. The “measure” is primarily imposed on mentally abnormal offenders who were found not to be sane at the time of committing their crime. It is unlimited in time – there is no prospect of parole.

Now, however, due to a change in the law, not only did the waves rise among the criminal justice experts, but outrage was great.

Reform Barg Risk
The hurdles have been taken and it should no longer be easy to get a briefing on the “measure”. The minimum sentence was increased to three years, and juveniles should only have served ten years or more in prison. The problem: Prisoners who should not have been admitted under the new rules should have been retroactively released from the forensic therapeutic centers, as they are now called, regardless of how long they have been in prison and how long ago the crime was committed committed.

The result: by September 1, nine and then fifty potentially dangerous prisoners would have been released. And they would not have to submit to any conditions, such as treatment. A “huge security risk for the people,” as SPÖ security spokeswoman Selma Yildirim said.

No unconditional layoffs
The Justice Department is now calming down. At the request of the Crown, it is said that there will be no unconditional redundancies from 1 September. In an accelerated process, amendments to the Juvenile Courts Act were made and mandatory case conferences were established, in which prison staff, psychiatrists, probation and aftercare representatives, as well as family members had to participate. There it is made clear which conditions must be met in the aftercare in order to create the conditions for early release.

This amendment to the amendment does not solve the known problems either. After a Kenyan killed a woman (54) with a pole on the Brunnenmarkt in 2016 and the authorities were massively criticized, the number of admissions rose sharply. With 1,565 prisoners and a capacity of 1,116 places, the ‘measure’ is hopelessly overcrowded.

Source: Krone

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