THE MANDATORY TREATMENT ORDER ??? THE EXPERIENCE IN THE FIRST YEAR IN SINGAPORE
Kenneth GWW Koh*, Jimmy Lee**, Stephen Phang***, Jerome Goh*
Objectives: The Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO) became a sentencing option for select offenders with psychiatric illness in Singapore in 2011. This article aimed to study the psychiatric characteristics of the offenders in the first year of the MTO; Methods: A clinical audit was conducted on all the cases referred to the Institute of Mental Health for assessment as to their suitability to receive an MTO from January to December 2011. A psychiatrist went through all the case records. Data on the demographics, forensic history and psychiatric diagnoses were obtained from records; Results: There were differences seen between the genders in the likelihood of being granted an MTO. Gender also played a role in the length of MTOs granted and in the diagnoses of the individuals. The reasons for an MTO not being granted are presented. Conclusion: Some discussion is made regarding the availability of court diversion legislature in other countries for mentally ill offenders and the directions such diversion might take are highlighted. Potential areas for future research are pointed out.