The compliant court: Procedural fairness and social control in compulsory community care
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, ISSN 0160-2527, E-ISSN 1873-6386, Vol. 37, no 6, 543-550 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Compulsory community care (CCC) was introduced in Sweden in 2008. This article investigates all written court decisions regarding CCC over a 6 month period in 2009 (N = 541). The purpose is to examine how the legal rights of patients are protected and what forms of social control patients are subjected to. 51% of CCC patients are women and 84% are being treated for a psychosis-related disorder. In the court decisions, only 9% of patients are described as dangerous to themselves, while 18% are regarded a danger to others. The most common special provisions that patients are subjected to are medication (79%) and a requirement that they must maintain contact with either community mental health services (51%) or social services (27%). In the decisions, both the courts and court-appointed psychiatrists agree with treating psychiatrists in 99% of cases. Decisions lack transparency and clarity, and it is often impossible to understand the conclusions of the courts. There is considerable variation between regional courts as regards the provisions to which patients are subjected and the delegation of decision-making to psychiatrists. This means that decisions fail to demonstrate clarity, transparency, consistency and impartiality, and thus fail to meet established standards of procedural fairness. Surveillance techniques of social control are more common than techniques based on therapy or sanctions. Because of the unique role of medication, social control is primarily imposed on a physical dimension, as opposed to temporal and spatial forms. The article concludes that patients are at risk of being subjected to new forms of social control of an unclear nature without proper legal protection.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 37, no 6, 543-550 p.
Compulsory community care; Community treatment orders; Outpatient coercion; Court hearings; Social control
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96401DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2014.02.027ISI: 000345542000002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84909980797OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-96401DiVA: diva2:764458