Mentally ill lawbreakers can only be committed to an institution for life if the original offense carries a penalty of more than three years (previously: one year) imprisonment (from one year if there is a risk to sexual integrity or life and limb). A special regulation will be created for terrorists in the repeat offender category.
After the Council of Ministers on Wednesday, Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens) emphasized that the enforcement of measures essentially unchanged for around 50 years. Austria has therefore already been condemned twice by the European Court of Human Rights. Around 1,400 people are currently in the enforcement of measures housed, the number has risen dramatically in the past ten years.
Anyone who bumps into a bailiff or a police officer or makes a threat in the course of a psychotic episode should no longer necessarily be in the prison enforcement of measures land and potentially be locked away for life. Persons whose danger to others can be treated better under the Accommodation Act should no longer be enforcement of measures be included.
There should also be improvements for young people. So far, there has been no differentiation between them and adults. Now they only come into the criminal record if they commit a capital crime (punishable for more than ten years). enforcement of measures.
In addition, new terms are created: the current “institutions for mentally abnormal lawbreakers” become “forensic therapeutic centers”. The “mental or mental abnormality of a higher degree” mentioned in the law will in future be called “serious and lasting mental disorder”.
Also apart from enforcement There are changes for the mentally ill: A special provision for terrorists has been introduced in the category for repeat offenders. Here (in contrast to other offenses) a single predicate offense is enough enforcement of measures – this must be due to serious intentional violence, terrorism or an act dangerous to the public and must have resulted in a sentence of unconditional imprisonment of more than twelve months. The initial act must then be a “terrorist offense” with a sentence of at least 18 months imprisonment. In addition, there must be a fear that further crimes with serious consequences will be committed.
The government bill passed on Wednesday is to be discussed in the National Council’s Judiciary Committee in December and then decided in plenary. A second part of the reform should then be tackled, emphasized Zadic. This then includes the care in enforcement of measures even.