Further tightening TBS policy
Imposing a TBS measure will become less dependent on the cooperation of suspects, the TBS system will become more efficient and long-stay will become more austere. In addition, the power to issue a TBS order will be expanded, there will be life-long supervision of sex offenders and the interests of victims will always be taken into account when granting leave. This is written today by State Secretary Teeven of Security and Justice to the Lower House. As a result of these and previously announced measures, Teeven builds further on a safer society and a future-proof TBS system.
Persons under observation who refuse to cooperate
Each year, approximately 70 suspects refuse to cooperate in observation examinations at the Pieter Baan Centrum. In half of these cases, the suspect's refusal means that it is impossible to establish whether they have a psychological disorder, which is evident from research by the Research and Documentation Centre. Diagnosing a disorder - and consequently a certain degree of absence of criminal responsibility - is, however, a condition for imposing TBS. Dozens of suspects manage to avoid TBS by refusing observation. This does not just undermine the confidence of society in the legal system, but it also makes society less safe. State Secretary Teeven will therefore make it legally possible that psychiatric data from the past can be used for the purpose of examining the mental condition of suspects. This will make it possible to prevent experts from being unable to diagnose a psychological disorder if the suspect refuses to cooperate in an examination.
A more efficient system
Research performed by the Research and Documentation Centre shows that term of residence of TBS-convicted persons increased in the nineties from 7.0 to 9.8 years. Many TBS-convicted persons stay too long at a high security - and therefore expensive – place, while this is actually no longer necessary, in view of the phase of their treatment. If clinics are able to apply for leave in time, TBS-convicted persons can move on to a suitable and cheaper facility outside the clinic. An additional effect is that the term of treatment will become shorter. This has no consequences for the safety risk for society; the Advisory Board on Review of Leave (AVt) will continue to strictly check all leave applications. Performance indicators - such as in the field of leave applications and recidivism - have to provide better insight into the working methods of the TBS clinics. The scores achieved will be compared in the second half of 2011.
Greater austerity at long-stay wards
TBS-convicted persons with an average or high security risk no longer qualify for supervised leave. Only a small group of long-stay residents with a low security risk will be able to apply for supervised leave under strict conditions. An independent advisory committee will assess every three years in which category a TBS-convicted person should be classified.
The power to issue a TBS order will be expanded
The State Secretary will have expanded powers to intervene in the daily course of affairs at TBS clinics. For example, he will be able to intervene if this is necessary with a view to the safety of society, or in the interests of victims. Tightening access checks for personnel is an example of this intervention.
Life-long supervision of sex offenders
It must be possible to place TBS-convicted persons who were previously convicted for a sex crime under supervision for the rest of their life. Currently, supervision is limited to period of at most nine years. Life-long supervision makes it possible to identify imminent recidivism on time and new victims can be avoided.
Taking the interests of victims into account when assessing leave applications
The interests of victims must be explicitly taken into account in any leave application. How - and to what extent - this has happened must be clearly set out in the application. This could, for example, result in a preventative exclusion order during the leave. A completed victim survey will also be a requirement for being allowed to go on leave. The AVt checks whether these requirements have been satisfied.