Numerous reviews and law reform agencies have recommended reforms to unfitness to plead laws. But changes have been laboured, when they’ve occurred at all. A new research project at the University of Melbourne is investigating support systems that may help prevent disability-based disadvantage and discrimination in the criminal justice system. Dr Piers Gooding is a part of this project, and spoke about what he’s doing.
Despite prisoners having some of the highest rates of mental illness and communicable diseases, Medicare exclusions mean that they are rarely able to access appropriate health services before they return to the community. Researchers have found prisoners are missing out on certain treatments and medications, as they are too expensive to provide without access to Medicare. I spoke to Professor Stuart Kinner, whose research on this topic was published this week.