Abundant evidence exists in regard to the injustice experienced by children and young people with mental health disorders and/or cognitive impairment in contact, or at risk of contact, with the justice system. This includes contact as victims, witnesses or alleged perpetrators. In NSW people with mental health disorders and cognitive impairment are three to nine times more likely to be in prison than the general NSW population.
Intensive Support was established to build the capacity of children and young people with mental health disorders and/or cognitive impairment at risk of, or in, contact with the justice system more effectively manage their disability cognitive disabilities. There is a significant focus within the service on meeting the needs of Aboriginal people, who face even higher risks in regard to contact with the justice system. This makes them the most vulnerable cohort in regard to disability justice and a priority group for culturally competent responses – including awareness raising, capacity building and outreach services.
Intensive Support services provide a person-centred, rights-based, accessible approach to help drive meaningful progress, to ensure justice for people with mental health disorders and cognitive disabilities.