Criminal justice

Crime and mental illness

J.CRI

Forensic hospitals have resisted the changes brought about by the Brazilian Psychiatric Reform. Some were built after 2001, when the Federal Law No. 10.216 marked a shift from the asylum-based model to mental health assistance. There are still people in Custody and Psychiatric Treatment Hospitals, living in a life-sentence abandonment regime. The limit for imprisonment time to be imposed by the State is 30 years, according to the Brazilian Supreme Court (Brazil, 2005). However, the 2011 census on custody and psychiatric treatment in Brazil found that 20 individuals were incarcerated for more than 30 years. They entered, when they were still young, one of the cruelest regimes of social seclusion. Now, as old men, they wait for the State to recognize them as unique individuals with existential needs that have been ignored in various spheres of their lives.

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