A long-awaited Senate report into the indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment has found huge gaps in services for people found to be unfit to plead, with the majority being Indigenous people, and has called for urgent reforms to the system.
The Community Affairs References Committee tabled its report into the indefinite detention of people with cognitive and psychiatric impairment on Tuesday night after a year of gathering evidence.
The report said evidence presented to the inquiry showed that there were more than 100 people detained across Australia without conviction in prisons and psychiatric units under mental impairment legislation, and that at least 50 people were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
“The committee is of the view that if a person is detained in indefinite detention, then there is an obligation on the part of the state to provide therapeutic treatment in a facility not attached to the criminal justice system. To do any less would result in the state imposing criminal justice punishment on people as a direct result of them having a disability,” the report said.
Source: Pro Bono Australia