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Mentally Impaired Accused Review Board

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Interagency Collaboration

The management of accused under the authority of the Board requires extensive collaboration between government and non-government agencies throughout the State of Western Australia. The primary reason behind this level of collaboration is the fact that the Board does not have a source of funds to provide an accused with accommodation or with supervision by trained carers.

Once a mentally impaired accused is of a sufficiently low risk to the safety of the community, such that he or she may be the subject of a Conditional Release Order, he Board has an obligation to consider the safety and welfare of the accused. The management of mentally impaired accused, including cognitively impaired accused, in the community presents many challenges. Accused usually have no accommodation and are not able to properly care for themselves.

The Board is to confirm that the appropriate arrangements are in place to ensure that the accused is appropriately cared for in the community and money to pay for that care must be found. Consequently, the chronic shortage of resources in the mental health system generally continues to present impediments to the release of accused. 

Relationships with the variety of government and non-government agencies involved with mentally impaired accused have continued to improve and the Board now has far greater access to the sort of information required to make informed decisions concerning the risks to the community, the interests of victims and the needs of the accused.

This change in approach has also allowed for a far closer scrutiny of cases and, when it is appropriate for an accused to be released into the community, it has allowed for a multi-faceted resolution and shared responsibility with other government departments such as the Disability Services Commission for the particular accused.  

Other agencies with which the Board collaborates include, but are not limited to:

  • Disability Services Commission;
  • Department of Corrective Services;
  • Mental Health Law Centre;
  • Avivo;
  • Office of the Public Advocate;
  • State Administrative Tribunal;
  • Legal Aid;
  • State Forensic Mental Health Services;
  • Western Australian Police Service;
  • Victim Notification Register; and
  • Victim-Offender Mediation Unit.

As the Board does not have access to a funding stream to pay for housing or the care of mentally impaired accused, considerable time goes into encouraging these working relationships with the agencies that can provide these services. The Board’s close working relationship with the Disabilities Services Commission has assisted the Board in gaining more detailed information in relation to community based support services available to mentally impaired accused.

Meetings between Board representatives and Disability Services Commission have allowed for a reciprocal relationship between the two agencies. The Board is provided with comprehensive release plans for a mentally impaired accused which have resulted in a better understanding of the operational procedures of the Disabilities Services Commission.


Last updated: 12-Jul-2017

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