Paperback, 56 pp, March 2008, ISBN 9780731356225
To obtain a copy, please order from shop.nsw
Section 32 of the Mental Health (Criminal Procedure) Act 1990 enables magistrates in summary proceedings to divert mentally disordered offenders from the criminal justice system and dismiss their charges either unconditionally or conditionally. Between 2004–2006, 2711 persons dealt with in the Local Court of NSW were diverted from the criminal justice system by way of an order under s 32.
A survey of magistrates was conducted with the primary purpose of eliciting opinions concerning the operation of s 32. This study examines legal, clinical and systemic issues surrounding the operation of s 32, reports the results of the survey and evaluates a number of issues raised by survey respondents.