A comparison of court based approaches in Australia for people with mental disorders

image - 01 KirbyInstitute Logo CMYK REV On Black Portrait 300ppi 6
Strands Project Theme
Project Funding
National Health and Medical Research Council
Project Description

Forensic mental health services in Australia have developed in response to the high rates of mental illness among offenders. A key component of forensic mental health services are Court Liaison Services. This type of forensic mental health service can provide early mental health intervention and, in some cases diversion from the criminal justice system to the mental health care system for the mentally ill.  The components of service delivery and legislative options available differ across jurisdictions in Australia.  The Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) Principles for Forensic Mental Health Services, along with several other policies, call for services to be provided in an efficient and effective manner.  To date, there is limited research regarding how performance should be measured and defined for forensic MHS.

A benchmarking project for mental health court liaison services throughout Australia to compare the various legislative frameworks, models, inputs, outputs and outcomes is currently underway.  It is anticipated that the findings of this project will have implications for future mental health policy.  This project forms the basis of Fiona Davidson’s PhD and is comprised of four components.  

  1. A National Survey of Court based mental health programs;
  2. A review of current legislative approaches relevant to court liaison service provision;
  3. The development of a set of National Key Performance Indicators for Court Liaison Services in Australia;
  4. The National Court Liaison Services Benchmarking Project.