Patients whose sentences have been waived

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This refers to a person who has committed an offence (or offences) and the court has ordered the accused to undergo mental examination, where the accused has been found to have been lacking criminal responsibility during the offence due to mental illness, and is in need of involuntary treatment (Mental Health Act, Section 8 (1)). If  The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), upon reviewing the mental examination statement, concurs with the conclusions of the statement, it shall order the person to psychiatric hospital for treatment against the person’s will (Mental Health Act, Sections 8 and 17 (1)). THL decides on initiating the involuntary treatment of a person accused of a crime at a hospital which has the facilities and special expertise required for the treatment of the patient (Mental Health Act, Section 17 a). THL shall send the statement on the mental examination and its own opinion to the court, which, if it concurs with the conclusions of the statement, shall waive the sentence of the accused due to the accused’s lack of criminal responsibility.

The need for treatment at a state mental hospital of a patient whose sentence has been waived is assessed in cooperation with the county wellbeing services of the patient’s domicile, six months at the latest from the date the treatment was initiated. At the end of 2022, the number of patients at Niuvanniemi Hospital whose sentences had been waived stood at 165 (59% of the hospital’s patients). The average treatment period of such patients who were at the hospital at the end of December 2022 was 7 years and 5 months.