Mental Health and the Justice System Initiative – Greens launch Action Plan to provide better services for vulnerable people
25 February 2012
People with serious mental illness are being failed by WA’s criminal justice system, says Greens (WA) Spokesperson for Mental Health Alison Xamon.
“They are being failed because successive State governments have not invested in the necessary facilities and services and in much-needed law reform,” Ms Xamon said. “People with serious mental illness are among the most vulnerable people in our community.
“In 2011, the Government’s own Mental Health Commission noted the lack of services available, saying:
…when people with mental health problems and/or mental illness are sentenced to prison or require a safe and secure facility after being found not guilty of a major offence due to mental impairment, there are currently insufficient forensic inpatient services available to deliver appropriate assessment, treatment, care and recovery services.
“People with serious mental illness, their families and loved ones, and our community, all deserve better. In order to minimise risk, including to personal and public safety, to meet our human rights obligations, and to reduce long term reoffending, we need to drastically improve the way we approach forensic mental health in WA.
“ “Forensic mental health” is the term used to describe the assessment, care and rehabilitation of: defendants who face charges in the courts; mentally ill offenders who are in prison or in the community; and individuals who have been found unfit to stand trial or who have been found not guilty by reason of unsoundness of mind.
“People with mental illness are over-represented at all levels of the criminal justice system and WA spends far below the national average in the area of forensic mental health.
The Greens (WA) Forensic Mental Health Action Plan has been designed to create a vastly improved forensic mental health system which will deliver better services, reduce reoffending, and enhance community safety through:
1. Legislative reform
2. Declared places for people with mental illness on custody orders
3. Increased numbers of forensic mental health beds
4. Forensic mental health services for children and young people
5. Coordinated care for people with serious mental illness in the criminal justice system
For a link to the initiative go to
Hon Alison Xamon MLC
Member for the East Metropolitan Region
Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051
Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931
Phone: (08) 9272 1718
Fax: (08) 9272 1719
Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services, Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering