According to the Explanatory Memorandum of the law 4509/2017, a significant change is being made to the current institutional framework of Articles 69 and 70 of the ECHR concerning the penal treatment of mentally ill offenders, in order to ensure a high level of treatment for perpetrators with mental or intellectual disorder. In application of the law, it was examined in court the abolishment, maintenance or replacement of the treatment measure of 47 patients from the Department of Forensic Psychiatry in Thessaloniki. The results were compared with the previous status quo. In 22 cases, abolishment was ordered for the patients to be discharged and return to their parent's home or to Psychosocial Rehabilitation Units. In 11 of them, their stay was in direct violation of the law due to exceeding the cap as defined by the severity of the offense. However, 7 patients remain voluntarily in the Department, as no beds are available in reintegration structures. 13 patients who have committed homicide remain with the psychiatrist's agreement beyond the overrunning the ten years of treatment due to the severity of the disease or the risk for violent behavior. The Public Prosecutor has provided solutions in many cases and has appointed lawyers for all patients as prescribed by law. However, the judiciary remains cautious and the trend towards exhaustion of the limits is clear, despite the fact that their fears are not confirmed by international bibliographic data. The application of N 4509/2017 attempts to change the landscape for this particular group of patients and allows visions for de-institutionalization, elimination of the stigma and personalized treatment, despite any ambiguities or potential problems that may arise. However, as the predominant social viewpoint, shown by the media, treats the mentally ill as dangerous, any positive changes are doomed to fail. In addition, it is necessary to develop psychiatric services for the treatment of patients which will not only treat psychotic symptoms but also antisocial and aggressive behavior in general.

Key words: Law, prosecutor, mentally ill offenders, trial, forensic psychiatry.

M. Markopoulou, K. Iliou, V. Karakasi, Ath. Douzenis (page 13)

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