ACCOUNTABLE OR NOT ACCOUNTABLE?: SOCIAL WORKERS’ VIEWS ON MENTALLY DISORDERED PERSONS’ LEGAL STATUS
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The aim of this thesis was to describe how mentally disordered offenders would be affected by reintroducing the accountability requirement within Swedish legislation, based on social workers’ preconceptions. Mental illness creates a number of issues within criminal justice systems. Almost all countries worldwide have an insanity defense in order to obtain de-criminalization of mentally disordered offenders. However, mentally disordered offenders are criminalized within Sweden’s current legislation. Therefore, the government is proposing a legislative reform. The reform suggests that the accountability requirement will be reintroduced within Swedish legislation. Within this inquiry semi-structured face-to-face interviews were conducted with six forensic social investigators. In light of Becker’s labeling theory and Goffman’s theory of stigma the results reveal social, psychological and behavioral consequences of the new legislation. The participants believe that, de-criminalization provides social and psychological advantages for mentally ill persons. Nevertheless, excusing people from responsibility might produce irresponsible behavior. Since responsibility is an essential part in rehabilitation as well as preventing criminal recidivism.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 65 p.
Accountability, criminal responsibility, mentally disordered offenders, labeling, stigma
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-16022Archive number: SGSMKINSA-V13-5OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-16022DiVA: diva2:688277
Subject / course
Social work – specialisation in international social work (in eng)
Larsson, Sam, Professor