Analysis unauthorised absence TBS in 2010

In 2010, 41 TBS-convicted persons were absent without authorisation during their leave. At the request of the Lower House, State Secretary Teeven of Security and Justice today provided a further analysis of these absences. As the number of absent persons is relatively low when compared with the total number of leave movements, no single cause can be provided for the increase. Agreements were not kept or not kept in part in the majority of cases.

Analysis

In 2010, it happened 41 times that a TBS-convicted person was absent without authorisation. A further analysis at the request of the Lower House shows that part of these absences was caused by common setbacks such as missing the bus, traffic checks or public transport delays. There were only five cases on TBS-convicted persons actually attempting to escape. Three of them turned themselves back in, two of those within the hour. In the other cases, the police arrested the TBS-convicted person. In 2010, one crime was committed during an unauthorised absence which was prosecuted by the Public Prosecution Service. It has furthermore become clear that in 25 percent of the cases of absence there had been telephone contact between the TBS-convicted person and supervisory institution. The TBS-convicted persons reported back in in more than 50 percent of the cases.

Based on the figures and causes for absence, it is impossible to identify a single cause for the increase in the number of times TBS-convicted persons were absent during leave. The numbers are too small to be able to make significant statements, as there are more than 50,000 leave movements every year. When compared with the total number of actual leave movements, the number of unauthorised absences constitutes less than one per thousand. Patients with an intellectual disability do constitute an increased risk of unauthorised absence. Unauthorised absence cannot be linked to an increased chance of recidivism.

Points for improvement

Leave is part of the treatment of many TBS-convicted persons. Leave is intended as a check to establish what skills the person involved has, how much freedom the person involved can handle and how much responsibility the person involved is able to take in order to function normally in society. In response to increase in the number of unauthorised absences, the forensic sector and the Minister of Security and Justice have assessed whether improvements can be introduced in the implementation of leave. It has become clear that a recent transfer of a TBS-convicted person from one institution to another constitutes an increased chance of absence. This may be caused by the increased tension that process entails and the fact that the new treatment providers do not know the TBS-convicted person very well yet. It has therefore been agreed with the management boards of the forensic psychiatric centres that more attention will be devoted to the preparation and implementation of the transfer.

No leave for one year following unauthorised absence

The regulation that no leave is granted for one year following unauthorised absence entered into effect on 1 January 2011. This regulation would have applied to eleven cases in 2010.