Forensic mental health care is a combination of security and treatment or care. Three groups receive forensic care:
• TBS* detainees
• Suspects or convicts to whom the Public Prosecutor (OM) or the Judiciary imposed a conditional sentence
Excluded are persons convicted under juvenile criminal law, including the PIJ measure.
* Terbeschikkingstelling (TBS)—translated literally, “at the discretion of the state”—is a judicial instrument embedded in the Criminal Code that works in combination with a prison sentence. The prison sentence is enforced first and then followed by TBS. TBS is not a punishment, it is an entrustment act for mentally disordered offenders. Its primary aim is not to seek retribution by depriving an individual of his or her freedom, but to protect society in the short term by detention, and in the long term, by treatment that reduces risk (description by Van Marle, 2002).
Forensic care is provided by different institutes with different levels of security. Broadly speaking, there are three types of institutions that provide forensic care:
• Forensic Psychiatric Centers (in dutch: FPC's)
• Forensic Psychiatric Clinics (in dutch: FPK's)
• Forensic Psychiatric Departments (in dutch: FPA’s)
The FPC has the highest security level. Patients with TBS are always treated in a FPC (formerly TBS clinic), so they are no danger to society during treatment.
The FPK is a specialized facility for mental health care. Originally FPK’s provided care for individuals with a clinical need for care and treatment in a criminal context. The priority in FPK’s is treatment, with sufficient security options. The FPK is always a part of a multipurpose mental health organization.
The FPA aims to put patients into regular care. In most cases, the FPA is a separate unit within the mental health institution, sometimes housed or linked to another unit for prolonged intensive care. Here clients are intensively treated, after which they will be referred to a "regular" department or elsewhere in the mental health care. FPA's are physically less secure than the FPK's.