Introduction: According to the Penrose's law, outlined on the basis of a comparative study of European statistics, there is an inverse relationship between the number of psychiatric beds and prison population in a given country. Aims: The paper examines the relationship between the number of psychiatric beds and prison population in Hungary in the period of 1990 and 2005. Methods: Data are taken from the databases of the Central Bureau of Statistics. To analyze the relationships among the data, mathematical statistical methods are applied. Results: An inverse relationship between the number of psychiatric beds and prison population is seen in Hungary, too. The number of compulsory treated patients has risen in parallel to the increase of prison population and has shown an inverse relationship with the number of psychiatric beds. Discussion: Both the prison and the treatment in a psychiatric department are presented for the public as applicable segregation techniques in order to give a response to a social phenomenon. On the basis of data, it can be assumed that the members of pretty much the same population are confined to both systems. To get to the core of essential relationships of the phenomenon, a nationwide examination seems to be necessary.
|Translated title of the contribution||Our social dilemma: Prison or asylum? Is the Penrose thesis valid for Hungary at the turn of the millennium?|
|Number of pages||4|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 7 2007|
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