People with cognitive and mental health impairments in the criminal justice system: diversion

Mental health Criminal justice Australia New South Wales

People with mental impairments are overrepresented in New South Wales' courts and jails. This report's recommendations aim to reduce their reoffending by ensuring their impairments are identified early and they have access to appropriate treatment and support.

The report’s 55 recommendations include:

  • expanding services that conduct mental health assessments of defendants at an early stage of the court process;
  • reforming existing legislative powers for courts to divert people with cognitive and mental health impairments;
  • creating a specialist court list to manage cases involving people with cognitive and mental health impairments;
  • expanding the Court Referral of Eligible Defendants into Treatment (CREDIT) program, which addresses the causes of an offender’s criminal behaviour; and clearer definitions of mental health and cognitive impairment.
Publication Details