Treatment and care rather than crime and punishment: Alternative formats available on request to PIAC - Contact PIAC
PIAC’s response to the NSW Law Reform Commission discussion papers is based on the following principles:
- The principle of least restriction.
- The principle that diversion and treatment should be the first response.
- The principle that mental illness and cognitive impairment should be a key factor in sentencing decisions.
- The principle that all defendants should be able to raise the defences of mental illness or intellectual impairment in all courts.
- The principle that if a person is not fit to stand trial because of mental impairment he/she should not be forced to enter a plea in any court.
- The principle that all prisoners, correctional patients and forensic patients should have access to quality health care, including proper psychiatric and psychological services.
- The principle that persons who are not convicted of an offence should not be held or treated in a correctional facility.
- The principle that every person who is charged with a criminal offence should have access to appropriate and effective legal representation.
- The principle that diversionary programs and options must be properly co-ordinated and properly resourced in order to be effective.
PIAC’s submission responds to the definitional issues raised in Discussion Paper 5(An overview) taking a human rights approach. The submission then addresses particular issues and questions raised in Discussion Paper 6 (Criminal responsibility and consequences) and Discussion Paper 7 (Diversion) based on the principles set out above.