Identifying Complex Disability in Murri Court Participants

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Author(s)
McIntyre, M
White, P
Townsend, C
White, A
Cullen, J
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2019
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Cairns, Australia

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Abstract

Background: The need for improved assessment and management processes to identify complex disability including mental health disorders, alcohol and drug misuse and neurocognitive disability (NCD) in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and reduce Indigenous incarceration and reoffending is well recognized (COAG, 2016; Sofronoff, 2016). There is an absence of culturally safe assessments to inform the court as to the presence and nature of complex disability and its impact on offending behaviour and adherence to bail conditions and court orders. This impacts on the court’s ability to determine appropriate sentencing, diversionary programmes and post-release support.

Objectives: To improve information provided to Brisbane Murri Court regarding complex disability including mental health disorders, alcohol and drug misuse, and NCD through application of a culturally safe assessment tool (The Guddi Protocol).

Methods: Routine Guddi assessments were undertaken for people pleading guilty in the Murri Court at pre-sentencing, and reports made available to the Court to inform sentencing and post-release decisions. The interview questionnaire explored the utility and acceptability of the tool in this setting.

Findings: Results included high levels of complex disability and functional impairment; improved assessment of Murri Court participants; enhanced quality of information provided to the Murri Court; enhanced Court knowledge about impacts of complex disability; and a high level of acceptance of the Guddi Protocol by stakeholders.

Conclusions: The Guddi Protocol shows promise as a culturally safe and appropriate method to identify complex disability in Murri Court participants; the Protocol contributes to more effective sentencing responses, which could ultimately reduce recidivism and prison overcrowding.

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Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry

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RANZCP 2019 Congress

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53

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1_suppl

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Subject

Biomedical and clinical sciences

Psychology

Science & Technology

Life Sciences & Biomedicine

Psychiatry

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McIntyre, M; White, P; Townsend, C; White, A; Cullen, J, Identifying Complex Disability in Murri Court Participants, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 2019, 53, pp. 50-50