Compulsory Medical Measures

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Compulsory Medical Measures


in the USSR, medical measures applied by a court to persons who have committed socially dangerous acts while non compos mentis or who have committed such acts while compos mentis but who, before the rendering of the judgment or during the serving of sentence, have acquired a mental illness, as a result of which they can no longer realize the significance of or control their actions. The measures provided for by law are commitment to a general or special psychiatric hospital, depending on the nature of the act committed and the psychological state of the individual involved.

In the event of the commission of a crime by an alcoholic or drug addict, a court has the right to prescribe compulsory treatment at an establishment with a special therapeutic and labor regimen, in addition to the punishment for the crime committed. In this case, persons sentenced to deprivation of freedom are subject to compulsory treatment while serving sentence. When treatment must be prolonged after release from the place of imprisonment, they are sent to a medical establishment with a special therapeutic and labor regimen.

A pretrial investigation is mandatory in cases where socially dangerous acts are committed by persons while non compos mentis and where persons have become mentally ill after the comission of the crime. A formal expert psychiatric examination is scheduled to determine the mental condition of the accused.

Upon completion of the pretrial investigation, if there are grounds for the application of compulsory medical measures, the case is turned over to the procurator to bring it to court.

The law considers it mandatory for defense counsel to participate from the moment that mental illness is determined in a case where a socially dangerous act has been committed. Participation by the procurator and defense counsel in court is also mandatory. The court delivers a ruling on release from criminal liability and assignment of compulsory medical measures. This ruling may be appealed within seven days by defense counsel, the victim and his representative, or a close relative of the accused. A protest may also be lodged by the procurator. In pursuance of a ruling delivered by a district (or city) people’s court, drug addicts and chronic alcoholics may be sent to an alcoholic reeducation center for compulsory treatment.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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