Senate Inquiry into the Indefinate Detention of People with an Intellectual or Psychiatric Impairment

Posted by Elizabeth Schier on 02/12/2016 13:31:06

The senate inquiry into the indefinite detention of people with an intellectual or psychiatric impairment has released its report. Many of the criminal cases in the database concern such individuals, as highlighted in our recent workshop on Dementia in the Law.

It found that hundreds of forensic orders are issued in Australia and that around 100 Australians (around 50 of whom are of Aboriginal or Torrens Straight Islander descent) are kept in detention, without a conviction. It made 32 recommendations including screening people for impairments when they come into contact with the criminal justice system and changing the law, including introducing limiting terms for forensic patients in those states which currently lack them. They found that people who may in fact lack the capacities required to be responsible, plead or stand trial are pleading guilty in order to avoid indefinite detention.

You can find the report at: and can listen to the ABC's reporting on the inquiry at

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