Saturday, March 21, 2009

Court orders the creation of a specialized hospital for the criminally insane

(Photo: La Nacion/Jorge Castillo)(Inside Costa Rica) - The Constitutional Court has ordered Costa Rica's social security to build a specialized psychiatric hospital for those found to be criminally insane or are awaiting a criminal trial.

Currently, those found mentally incapable of standing trial or being held in detention waiting trial are grouped with the rest of the patients in the Hospital Nacional Psiquiatrico (HNP)- mental hospital - run by the Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social (CCSS).

The court decision followed a filing by the mother of one of the patients at the HNP fearing her son' security from dangerous criminals being housed with the other mental patients at the hospital.

The court orders Eduardo Doryan, the head of the CCSS, to construct and develop a plan for a specialized institution to house the criminally dangerous. The CCSS is also being ordered to co-ordinate with the Ministerio de Seguridad Publica for the custody of mental patients waiting trial.

The Minister of Justice, Viviana Martin, welcomed the news of the court order, saying that her ministry has been working to that end for some time.

The court order also places the burden on the Justice Ministry to create a specialized prison police unit to manage the criminally insane and the custody of those patients who have court ordered security measures placed on them. Justicia will have one year to develop the specialized police unit.

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