OBJECTIVE The efficacy of specific forensic outpatient treatment should be investigated. METHODS In 2000 the Ministry of Social Affairs of the State of Bavaria, Germany, implemented a model for forensic outpatient treatment. Three forensic hospitals established forensic outpatient clinics. The Department of Forensic Psychiatry of the Psychiatric Hospital of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich evaluated the treatment and management programs with financial support from the Ministry. RESULTS 111 mentally ill offenders were included after release from forensic hospitals. 65 % suffered from schizophrenia. In 4.5 years time of observation a recidivism rate of 0.9 % of severe offences could be found (3.6 % including cases of suspicion). 17 % of the patients needed a rehospitalisation and 12 % a legal intervention. At the end of the observation period 42 patients still needed treatment, but 44 patients continued therapy in the forensic outpatient setting out of own interests. CONCLUSIONS In accordance to literature very low rates of criminal recidivism under specific forensic outpatient aftercare could be found, and in addition a relatively high compliance with the treatment.