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Statistics shows that in most countries prevalence of mental health problems are much higher among prisoners than the general population. Country approach to regulating mental health needs of persons with mental disorder who come into contact with justice system depends on variety of cultural or legal traditions, as well as on different concepts and structures of mental health care delivery.
The aim of the survey was to study and assess the established practice of implementation of the legal procedure relating to individuals who commit crime and have mental health problems in Georgia.
Qualitative analysis including desk review, in-depth interview and focus group discussion was conducted. Preceding from the research objectives the current legislation with regard of people with the mental disorder has been analyzed; the interviews on the shortcomings and problems of the implementation of the law in practice have been conducted with key informants.
The study acknowledges that recent changes in Georgian legislation imports much of the civil law standards and processes relating to admission, detention and compulsory treatment of criminal detainees with mental health problems. However, due to the ambiguous, ambivalent and incomplete nature of the aforementioned changes, the penal and administrative courts, as well as the clinicians are facing serious difficulties and confusions in their work.
It is discussed that there is a strong need for closer cooperation between mental health and justice systems to treat mentally disordered persons both in the system and after they are released into the community.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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