Peer Group and Representation of interests in preventive detention

2,000 Euro Prize 2017

Country: Austria

Region: Vienna

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Criminality, Disability, Psychosocial impairments

Project owner: Selbst- und Interessensvertretung zum Maßnahmenvollzug (SiM)

Responsible person: Markus Drechsler

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What is it about?

SiM´s most important goal is to strengthen the ability for self-representation of detained patients in the Austrian “Maßnahmenvollzug”, a kind of preventive detention. At the same time SiM is an important point of contact for relatives and released detainees. Another goal of SiM is to improve the social awareness of the problem of human rights in the imprisonment of patients without knowing a dat

Appreciation of the Jury

Those under civil commitment are meant to be locked away. SiM has made them more visible than ever. Innovation is here at its best. Former inmates have come true on their promise to create the first facility independent of the justice system that represents the interests of (former) prisoners under civil commitment. SiM networks fast and well, raises very concrete hopes, spreads knowledge. What started well in 1975 as “therapy instead of punishment” has since the 90s turned into inadequate care, mounting numbers and increasing detention periods for prisoners suffering from mental disorders. They should be treated in hospitals. A reform is more than necessary. SiM shows that inmates can be resocialised. And how!