Forensic Psychiatry in Lower Saxony

Project period

01.11.2016 – 31.10.2019

Project staff

Prof. Dr. Thomas Bliesener

PD Dr. Thomas Mößle

Merten Neumann (project manager)

Dr. Lars Riesner


Ministry for Social Affairs of Lower Saxony

Project description

A main goal of the forensic psychiatry is to treat persons who are accommodated in accordance with Sections 63 and 64 of the Penal Code (StGB), as far as possible, in a therapeutic manner to avoid any danger to the general public. In doing so, the accustomed persons are to be prepared for an independent lifestyle and to be promoted with regard to their family, social and professional integration. The gradual adhesive loosening (for example external employment, day release) is necessary and reasonable to achieve this goal. However, loosening may only be granted if there is no fear that the persons concerned will abuse it and in particular endanger themselves or the general public. Despite prognostic assessments with regard to these risks, there is a risk of escaping the patients within the framework of adhesive loosening in the course of enforcement, as well as a considerable number of new offenses.

The aim of the research project is to investigate the previous and current practice of risk prognoses and the adhesive loosening of the patients accommodated in Sections 63 and 64 of the Penal Code in institutions of forensic psychiatry in Lower Saxony and to identify perspectives and fields of action for an optimization and further development of existing practice.

For this purpose, a retrospective picture of loosening and related infringements is to be prepared in the years 2006 to 2016. Subsequently, on the basis of document analyzes and qualitative expert interviews, an analysis of the organizational structures and the process with regard to forecast observations and loosening decisions is carried out. Furthermore, the analysis of a sample of approximately 350 data files is carried out to patients with and without violations of conditions within the framework of adhesive loosening. On the basis of this file analysis, the forecasting data on which the loosening is based are to be examined with regard to their quality. On the other hand, knowledge about the prognostic validity of prediction features is to be obtained in connection with loosening decisions. Concrete recommendations for the improvement of the organization as well as the processes in the system of assessment and discussion of adhesive loosening will be developed on the basis of this analysis. In addition, it is planned to carry out a regression analysis for the patients assessed during the period of post-discharge from a forensic psychiatry based on entries from the Federal Central Registry.