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Article

Morgan Andersson, Christer Svennerlind, Inga Malmqvist and Henrik Anckarsäter

The purpose of this paper is to map significant features of the physical design of nine recently planned facilities for forensic psychiatric care in Sweden. The present…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to map significant features of the physical design of nine recently planned facilities for forensic psychiatric care in Sweden. The present paper is focused on differences in the physical design, static security adaptations, visions and goals for the projects, economy and steering processes.

Design/methodology/approach

In June 2008, records concerning major forensic psychiatric construction projects, planned or carried out between 1970 and 2008, were requested from all 21 regions in Sweden. The documents were collected, organized, critically examined, and analyzed in their contexts. Extensive data have also been retrieved from the internet.

Findings

In spite of the common national legislation governing forensic psychiatric care, the projects show great diversity in the physical design and, after 2006, increasing emphasis on static security. The collected material indicates different visions and goals and little coordination between them. It also suggests that the decisions rarely have been preceded by scientific studies or, as it appears, systematic needs assessments. There were also considerable variations in the interpretation of the legislation stipulating public access to official documentation and the time‐frame allowed for such requests.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of the project especially relate to the incompleteness of the documents received.

Originality/value

This mainly descriptive paper provides an overview of contemporary Swedish forensic psychiatric construction projects, planned for or realized after 2000. This paper points out structural and physical differences between these projects. The systematised documents are made available for research purposes within different disciplines.

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