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I. Background

  Crimes committed by mentally disordered persons have recently become a serious social issue in Japan. Act on Medical Care and Treatment for Person Who Have Caused Serious Cases Under the Condition of Insanity that was established in July 2005, led to a new system of medical care, treatment and rehabilitation of mentally disordered offenders. To apply this law effectively, productive cooperation among the Japanese Ministries of Justice, and of Health, Labour and Welfare, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the courts, psychiatric hospitals and other agencies are indispensable, and the establishment of systems for training specialists who are dedicated to the legal system is an urgent issue. The scientific basis of forensic mental health should be nurtured with substantiation from areas of jurisprudence, sociology, pedagogy, psychiatry, neuroscience and pharmacology to improve measures for mentally disordered offenders. To address these needs, this centre was established at Chiba University by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as a focus for forensic mental health education and research.

  The centre comprises the following divisions: Law and Psychiatry Research, Clinical Neuroscience Research, Juvenile Delinquency Research, and Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation. The Divisions of Law and Psychiatry Research and of Juvenile Delinquency Research each have one full time teacher each, and the Division of Clinical Neuroscience Research has two. The Division of Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation currently has no full time staff.

U. Outline of task specification

  The centre addresses the following tasks:

  1. Construction of new networks: To develop forensic mental health in Japan, the centre will build new networks among organizations and ministries from the viewpoint of multiple specialties.
  2. Research: To examine systems of laws, medical treatment and rehabilitation for mentally disordered offenders and juvenile delinquents. Neuroscientific research will pursue the development of novel biological methods for psychiatric diagnosis and treatment strategies.
  3. Education and training: The construction of nationwide educational and training systems using e-learning and Web conferences via the internet.
Director of the centre Masaomi Iyo

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