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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 52 (2010) 11, 745 - 752

New research

Pre-trial psychiatric reports on Antillean suspected offenders in the Netherlands and on the Dutch Antilles

D.J. Vinkers, F.G.M. Heytel, G.M. Matroos, K.M. Hermans, H.W. Hoek

summary
background The registered criminality among Antilleans living in the Netherlands is much higher than among Antilleans living on the Dutch Antilles (113 offences and 11 offences respectively, per year per 1000 persons, p < 0.001).
aim To compare the prevalence of psychiatric disturbances among Antillean suspected offenders in the Netherlands (n = 989) and on the Dutch Antilles (n = 199) between 2000 and 2006.
method A careful study was made of pre-trial psychiatric reports on Antillean suspected offenders (referred to as suspects) in the Netherlands and of comparable reports on Antillean suspects on the Dutch Antilles.
results There was no significant difference in the prevalence of mental disorders among Antillean suspects in the Netherlands (22.3%) and on the Dutch Antilles (20.3%). Abuse of drugs and cannabis was more prevalent on the Dutch Antilles where treatment for addiction is less frequently available than in the Netherlands. Mental retardation was ascertained more often among Antilleans in the Netherlands (22.4%) than among Antilleans on the Dutch Antilles (15.1%). Antillean suspects on the Dutch Antilles were more often found to be fully responsible for their actions than were Antillean suspects in the Netherlands (65.3% versus 19.1%, p < 0.001) There was no significant difference in the frequency of ‘strongly diminished responsibility’ and ‘a total lack of responsibility’.
conclusion On the basis of the pre-trail assessments there seems to be little difference in the prevalence of mental disorders in Antillean suspects in the Netherlands and on the Dutch
Antilles.

keywords Antilleans, Dutch Antilles, forensic psychiatry, pre-trial reports