Magistrates Court of Western Australia

Intellectual Disability Diversion Program Court

The Intellectual Disability Diversion Program (IDDP) Court is operated by the Department of Justice, with support and advice from the Department of Communities.

The IDDP Court seeks to address the over-representation of individuals in the adult criminal justice system who may have one or more of the following diagnoses:

  • Intellectual Disability
  • Cognitive Disability
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The IDDP Court operates at Central Law Courts in the Perth CBD and sits on Mondays. It aims to work with individuals living in the community in order to:

  • Reduce their future contact with the criminal justice system and thereby improve community safety.
  • Increase their access to positive behaviour support with a focus on skill building and goal setting.
  • Identify undiagnosed disability or impairment as well as physical and/or mental health issues.
  • Achieve an outcome in respect of their charge/s that is proportionate, fair and appropriate to the circumstances of the offence and their disability or impairment.

Referrals to the IDDP Court are typically made by magistrates in general court lists, often at the suggestion of a defence lawyer, supporting agency, carer or family member.

Legal Aid duty lawyers can advise and represent people in the Magistrates Court and can give advice on the day about whether a referral to the IDDP Court is appropriate. There is also a dedicated duty lawyer who attends the IDDP Court.

Where appropriate, monitoring by the magistrate aims to promote compliance within the program, engage individuals in goal setting, and support them through the change process.

To be eligible to participate the individual must:

  • Have been diagnosed with an ID, CD or ASD by a suitably qualified person, or they are likely to be so diagnosed if assessed by a suitably qualified person.
  • Have entered, or be likely to enter, a plea/pleas of guilty to at least a significant proportion of their magistrate court charges.
  • Be suitable for conditional bail.
  • Consent to take part in in the IDDP Court program.

Participation is strictly voluntary. If a "not guilty" plea is entered and maintained, the accused person is ineligible for the IDDP Court program.

Adult Community Corrections assesses the suitability of applicants for the program. Applicants may also need to be assessed by an expert such as a psychologist or neuropsychologist, which if required will be ordered by the IDDP Court.

If accepted into the IDDP Court program, Adult Community Corrections will develop a plan in conjunction with the individual, their family and/or carer and, if applicable, guardian, the Department of Communities and any relevant service providers. The individual will be required to attend the IDDP Court as directed by the magistrate to monitor their progress on the program over a period of approximately four to six months.

Progress on the plan will be taken into account by the magistrate when sentencing the individual.

The IDDP Court is operated by a dedicated team that includes a magistrate, Senior Community Corrections Officer, duty lawyer and police prosecutor.

The IDDP Court is overseen by operational and steering committees that include representatives from participating agencies including the Department of Communities.

Key Contacts for the IDDP Court:

Magistrates Court PERTH
Specialist Court Coordinator
Phone: (08) 9425 3423

Adult Community Corrections
IDDP Court Senior Community Corrections Officer
Phone: (08) 9425 2385

Last updated: 1-May-2019

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