Hospital orders

Some offenders may be suffering from diminished responsibility due to a psychiatric or personality disorder. In order to protect society, a hospital order (terbeschikkingstelling; TBS) may be imposed on offenders in this category.

Assessment by behavioural experts

In order to determine whether a person should be placed under a hospital order, that person must cooperate in an assessment by behavioural experts, such as a psychologist. Without an assessment, the court cannot impose a hospital order.

Treatment of the disorder

When a disorder is a contributory factor in a criminal offence, there is a heightened risk of reoffending if such individuals do not receive treatment. A court may therefore order that such an offender be confined to a secure psychiatric institution, in some cases after first serving a custodial sentence.

Duration of hospital order

A hospital order remains in place until the risk of reoffending has been reduced to an acceptable level. Even after having undergone all available treatment, however, some offenders may remain too dangerous to return to society. In that case they will be sent to a long-stay wing.