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Insane defendants and forensic convicts: before and after the onset of the new forensic psychiatry network and the criminal justice system reform in Chile

Cid, Rodrigo D

doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e32833bb31a
Forensic psychiatry: Edited by Julio E. Arboleda-Flórez

Purpose of review Like other Latin American democratic societies, Chile is supposed to respect legal rights of mentally ill people who are in trouble with the law, and provide them protection, treatment and welfare. Therefore, in this decade, the Chilean Criminal Justice and Mental Health System has undergone significant changes.

Recent findings Because this article is related to the recent social features that involve different areas such as justice, mental health assistance and forensic psychiatry systems, and thereby the nonexistence of current literature that reviews this matter from a global perspective and its implications for the mental health population involved in the justice system, its review and analysis seems to be interesting.

Summary The ‘New Forensic Psychiatry Network’ (NFPN) has been putting in relevant efforts to offer proper treatment and forensic assessment taking into account the civil rights of mentally insane people, and the ‘Criminal Justice System Reform’ (CJSR) is making possible legal conditions for better justice ensuring a more just resolution of insane defendants' and mentally ill convicts' lawsuits. From the author's viewpoint, all these changes are leading to a deep cultural impact on a Chilean's mind, changing their vision of justice and how society should respect insane defendants' and mentally ill convicts' legal rights.

Psychiatry Department, Legal Medical Service of Santiago, Santiago, Chile

Correspondence to Rodrigo D. Cid, Forensic Psychiatrist, Psychiatry Department, Legal Medical Service of Santiago, Santiago, Chile Tel: +56 2 7823553; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.