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If the offender is mentally disordered can I still participate in the Victim Contact Scheme?

If you are the victim of an offender who committed a specified violent or sexual offence but has been detained in a hospital for treatment because he or she has a mental disorder, you will still be entitled to participate in the Victim Contact Scheme (VCS ). If the offender's detention was made subject to 'restrictions' by the court (a 'restricted patient' ), you will be provided with information by your Victim Liaison Officer. If no restrictions are imposed (a 'non -restricted patient' ), hospital managers will provide you with information.

In these circumstances, as the offender has been diverted away from the criminal justice system and is being treated in hospital as a patient, some of the decisions about the offender's management will be related directly to his or her medical treatment, and as such will be confidential medical information. This could include, for example, whether the offender has been granted defined periods of time in the community (community leave) as part of his or her treatment.

You are entitled to make representations about the offender's conditions of discharge, such as conditions that prevent the offender making contact with you or your family or entering the area in which you live.

You are entitled to be informed if the offender is to be discharged either with conditions or absolutely (this applies to restricted patients) or discharged subject to a Community Treatment Order (this applies to non-restricted patients), and if so you will also be informed of:

  • the conditions, if any, in place for your own or your family's protection;
  • changes to those conditions; and
  • when those arrangements end (because the offender has been recalled to hospital; absolutely discharged; or the Community Treatment Order has been lifted).

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