Defendants who refuse to participate in pre-arraignment forensic psychiatric evaluation

Criminal justice proceedings / Suspects

Defendants who refuse to participate in pre-arraignment forensic psychiatric evaluation

Findings on a special ward in the Pieter Baan Centre, the forensic observation clinic in the Netherlands (full text only available in Dutch)


In the Netherlands, suspects of serious crimes may need to be examined for mental illness when suspicions arise about their state of mind during their crime. As the public prosecutor builds his case against the suspect, he may order such an examination to take place. When this happens, the public prosecutor or the (examining) judge will give the Dutch Institute for Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology (NIFP) the assignment to evaluate the suspects’ mental health.
The forensic psychiatric evaluation may take place while the defendants are incar-cerated in jail awaiting trial or in the forensic psychiatric clinic in the Netherlands, the Pieter Baan Centre (PBC).
For the duration of one year in the PBC a special ward has been set up to specifically attend to defendants who refuse to participate in the evaluation, called Unit 3. The regular examination process is altered in such a way that the PBC expects to observe more behavior from the defendant and thereby will be able to write a fuller forensic psychiatric evaluation report. Furthermore, it is expected that upon placement on the unit, some defendants may start to participate.

The present report consists of two separate parts: (1) the evaluation of the plans behind the special ward, and (2) the results of the first six months of the pilot.

Publication data

Nagtegaal, M.H.
Place of publication:
The Hague
Year of publication:
Cahiers 2018-07

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Voor een electronische versie - zie: bijlagen (rechtsboven) (only available as pdf)