The continued existence of ‘psychopathic disorder’ in the Mental Health Act of 1983 ensures that well into the next century individuals thus categorized will be detained in Special Hospitals and elsewhere. In this paper I want to consider the problem of ‘psychopaths' in the Special Hospitals, as I see them, both for the patients and the institutions, and I will pay special attention to the way such patients are detained. More specifically, I will argue that greater use should be made of treatment orders during the course of a prison sentence, rather than at the time of conviction. In other words, let there be more use of Section 72 of the 1959 Act (to become Section 47 of the new Act), as opposed to Sections 60 and 60(65), which in the new Act become Sections 37 and 41 respectively. At the end of 1982 only seven out of about 150 ‘psychopathic disorder’ patients in Broadmoor were detained under Section 72. The great majority were held on Section 60(65).
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