The definitive closure of the six forensic psychiatric hospitals brought the scientific community, in Italy, to re-examine the existing organizational models and practices for mentally disordered offenders. The decades of isolation of forensic psychiatry, from other mental health services, explains why both the practices and evaluation systems of this field of psychiatry now need updating. The author - taking into account the historical reasons for the lingering cultural development of forensic psychiatry in Italy, compared to other European countries - examines the scientific, legislative and political factors that determined the promulgation of the Law 09/2012 and discusses the contents of the following Law 81/2014 on the risks and outcomes for mentally disordered offenders in forensic psychiatric rehabilitation. The author concludes that forensic psychiatric practices in Italy still follow principles of discretion and subjectivity and not evidence-based criteria.
Keywords: Forensic psychiatry, social dangerousness, violence risk assessment, needs assessment