n African Journal of Psychiatry - Reinstitutionalization by stealth : the Forensic Mental Health Service is the new chronic system : forensic forum




In 1997 the Forensic Mental Health Service (FMHS) in theWestern Cape had a total of 205 state patients in its database, most of whom were inpatients at Valkenberg and Lenteguer Hospitals. Currently the database has just over 800 state patients. The number of state patients in the Western Cape has more than tripled over 15 years, and there are now 9 forensic wards in the FHMS. Seven of these are low secure wards that house state patients whose abject social circumstances are the sole obstacles for granting them long leaves of absences and discharge into the community.


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