NDIS-related Justice programs

Justice Advocacy Service 

The NSW Government is investing $10 million over 2 years to establish a new state wide service to help people with cognitive impairment navigate the criminal justice system. 

The Justice Advocacy Service will be delivered by Intellectual Disability Rights Service, and will provide supports to suspects in police custody, victims, witnesses and defendants who may have a cognitive impairment. 

JAS will be available from 1 July 2019.

For more information, please contact jas@justice.nsw.gov.au                    

Cognitive Impairment Diversion Program

The Cognitive Impairment Diversion Program (CIDP), currently being trialled in Gosford and Penrith local courts, provides a timely and coordinated response to the needs of defendants with a cognitive disability. The CIDP aims to support these defendants with access to the NDIS, provide support in the community, and a pathway for diversion from the criminal justice system under section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 (MHFPA). The program builds on existing NSW services and expertise to efficiently connect defendants with the NDIS and other mainstream/community based supports and in so doing, divert them from the criminal justice system. It does this by:

  • expanding an existing court-based clinical assessment service (the Statewide Court and Community Liaison Service – SCCLS) to identify and assess individual defendants with a significant and permanent cognitive disability and provide advice to the court about an appropriate plan to divert the defendant from the criminal justice system
  • expanding an existing non-government service that assists defendants assessed as having a significant and permanent cognitive disability resulting in functional impairment, link with the NDIS and other mainstream supports
  • expanding an existing monitoring and compliance function in the criminal justice system (Community Corrections) to monitor a defendant's compliance with a cognitive impairment diversion plan to ensure that the court and community can be confident that  defendants are appropriately managed in the disability sector and do not require criminal justice interventions.

For more information, including fact sheets, see Local Court Diversion programs.