Disabling Justice - Why the system fails people with disability and mental...

Event Information

Share this event

Date and Time

Location

Location

FSSI, Building 98

Level 2

102-104 Victoria Street

Carlton, Victoria 3053

Australia

View Map

Event description

Description

Join us for a forum to discuss the barriers in the criminal justice system for Victorians with a disability or mental illness.

The panel, moderated by Public Advocate Colleen Pearce, will feature:

  • Director, Centre for Innovative Justice, RMIT University, Mr. Rob Hulls, on therapeutic justice
  • Ombudsman Victoria, Ms Deborah Glass OBE, on her recent report, Investigation into the imprisonment of a woman found unfit to stand trial
  • Disability rights campaigner, Mr Justen Thomas, speaking on his experience and learnings as a person with a disability in the criminal justice system.

Background:

People with cognitive disability have more need for, or interaction with, the justice system. However, it is often unable to meet their needs, thus, failing them.

There are many reasons: They often have limited opportunities for education and work; they are more likely to be socially and economically disadvantaged; they are disproportionately subject to all forms of abuse, making them more likely to come into contact with the criminal justice system; and, they have limited access to advocacy and legal representation.

Once involved, they often have insufficient access to appropriate rehabilitation and reintegration programs.

The available statistics are also telling: 40 per cent of Victorian prisoners have a mental health condition, two to three times higher than community rates; they are 10 to 15 times more likely to have a psychotic disorder; three per cent have a registered intellectual disability compared to one per cent in the community; and they have an ABI up to 20 times higher.

Despite Victoria’s human rights framework, it all adds up to people with disability being denied access to justice because of systemic discrimination that fails to recognise their status as human rights bearers and citizens with the same entitlement to opportunities and outcomes as others.

This gives rise to a real fear that prisons are becoming a renewed form of institutionalisation for these people who lack adequate recognition of their needs and provision of their supports.

While the need to protect is valid, more rigorous and best-practice treatment approaches are needed, less-adversarial options pursued, more skilled people required and alternative accommodation support options considered.

Date and Time

Location

FSSI, Building 98

Level 2

102-104 Victoria Street

Carlton, Victoria 3053

Australia

View Map

Save This Event

Event Saved