MHDCD Project

7.9 Report for NSW ADHC on people with intellectual and other cognitive disability in the criminal justice system

This study, funded by NSW Ageing, Disability and Home Care (ADHC), outlined the key findings derived from the MHDCD Dataset in relation to the members of the cohort with intellectual and other cognitive disability. It found that Indigenous Australians have higher rates of intellectual disability at 65% when compared to 54% of the whole cohort. For Indigenous Australians, having a CD is associated with earlier police contact and higher levels of contact than those without this disability. When compared with those with a CD who are not Indigenous, this group had police contact over two years earlier, with earlier custody and earlier first conviction. Indigenous Australians with a CD were also found to progress more quickly to custody from police contact than non-Indigenous people with a CD, on average approximately one year faster with more episodes in custody than the comparable non-Indigenous group. Indigenous persons with a CD were found to be slightly less likely to receive a disability service than non-Indigenous persons however they comprise a higher proportion than would be expected of CJP clients. The study found that those who are afforded ADHC support do better, with less involvement in the CJS after they become clients compared with those with cognitive disability who do not receive ADHC services. The cognitive and complex needs groups in the study were found to have experienced low rates of disability support as children, young people and adults with Indigenous members of the cohort having the lowest levels of service and support.

Back to top