Mental health and criminal charges: variation in diversion pathways in Australia

Davidson, Fiona, Heffernan, Edward, Greenberg, David, Waterworth, Rhondda and Burgess, Philip (2017) Mental health and criminal charges: variation in diversion pathways in Australia. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 24 6: 888-898. doi:10.1080/13218719.2017.1327305


Author Davidson, Fiona
Heffernan, Edward
Greenberg, David
Waterworth, Rhondda
Burgess, Philip
Title Mental health and criminal charges: variation in diversion pathways in Australia
Journal name Psychiatry, Psychology and Law   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1934-1687
1321-8719
Publication date 2017-06-06
Year available 2017
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13218719.2017.1327305
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 24
Issue 6
Start page 888
End page 898
Total pages 11
Place of publication Abingdon, Oxon, United Kingdom
Publisher Routledge
Language eng
Subject 2734 Pathology and Forensic Medicine
3201 Psychology (miscellaneous)
2738 Psychiatry and Mental health
3308 Law
Abstract Mental health and criminal justice legislation must provide the appropriate mechanisms for ensuring the assessment and care of mentally ill individuals. It must also balance the right to justice of these individuals with the rights of the community. In Australia, each jurisdiction has its own legislative provisions related to mental health, criminal legislation and sentencing, with variation in the mental health diversion options that are available. This article uses a national survey of court liaison services and mental health courts in Australia and a review of the relevant legislative frameworks to compare jurisdictional approaches to mental health diversion. Despite calls from the National Mental Health Commission for consistency, the Australian approach to the provision of mental health services to people in the criminal justice system is heterogeneous and piecemeal. Variation in the diversion pathways available to individuals with mental illness exists across Australia. The presence of problem-solving courts in some, but not all, jurisdictions results in differences in access to legal and treatment options.
Keyword Court diversion
Court liaison
Fitness to plead
Mental health defence
Mental health legislation
Problem-solving court.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID 1057492
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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