New court diversion program designed – let’s fund it NSW!

07 October 2020

CID has been busy working with the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) on the design of a new program to keep people with intellectual disability out of prison and the court system.

The new program would build on the highly successful Cognitive Impairment Diversion Program (CIDP), which ran until June 2020 in Gosford and Penrith Local Courts.

The CIDP was extremely successful, with over two thirds of participants diverted from the courts and an extra $2.5 million a year obtained for participants from the NDIS. 26 percent of participants were Indigenous Australians.

Thanks to the CIDP, many people with cognitive impairment were for the first time in their lives given the opportunity to have well supported and positive lifestyles.

When the Department closed the CIDP, it said it wanted to build a program with a broader geographic reach. It committed to consulting CID about this. We have since had very valuable discussions with the Department to help it design a new more comprehensive program.

We are now pressing the Premier, the Treasurer and the Attorney General to find funding for the new program in November’s state budget.

The new program would serve the priorities of the NSW and Australian governments. If implemented, the program will:

  • reduce rates of repeat offending and re-imprisonment (By 2023, the Premier wants to reduce reoffending by 5 percent);
  • reduce domestic violence (By 2023, the Premier wants to reduce domestic violence reoffending by 25 percent); and
  • reduce the rate of incarceration of Indigenous Australians (By 2031, all Australian governments want to reduce the number of Indigenous Australians in gaol by 15 percent).

Thank you to the over 50 eminent Australians who signed our open letter supporting the CIDP, and more than 4,500 people who signed our petition.

Your support has been critical. We have provided input to the design of the new program, now we need to make sure it is funded.

How you can help now

Please email or telephone Attorney General Mark Speakman urging him to ensure that the new cognitive impairment diversion program is funded in the November budget.

How to contact the Attorney General

Phone 8574 6390


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