Parliament: Questions Kelly's Asked

James Nash House – Response

The Hon. K.L. VINCENT: A further supplementary question, Mr President: what is the average length of stay in James Nash House, and is there an aim to limit the length of stay? Is there an ideal period of time that a person would stay? Also, when the minister says that forensic prisoners have their needs ‘regularly reviewed’, how regularly is ‘regularly’?

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety): Again, that falls under the responsibility of the Minister for Mental Health, so I will have to take that on notice and seek a response from the responsible minister in the other place.

Response received 30/11/2016

Prisoner Support and Treatment

In reply to the Hon. K.L. VINCENT (6 July 2016).

The Hon. P. MALINAUSKAS (Minister for Police, Minister for Correctional Services, Minister for Emergency Services, Minister for Road Safety): The Minister for Mental Health and Substance Abuse has advised:

The length of stay of persons in James Nash House will depend upon their legal status.

The courts determine the length of stay of persons who have been found not guilty by reason of mental impairment/mental unfitness to stand trial and who have been declared liable to supervision under Part 8A of the Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 (the Act).

The courts may also declare a person liable to supervision under Section 269X of the Act while that person’s mental competence or mental fitness to stand trial is under investigation. Again, the courts will determine the length of stay for this cohort.

The length of stay for both of these groups has ranged from 18 days to 14 years with the average length of stay being 3 years.

Prisoners (persons who have committed a criminal offence and have been placed in the custody of the Department for Correctional Services) who suffer from a mental disorder or impairment may also be housed in James Nash House. Prisoners will remain at James Nash House until they are clinically cleared to return to prison. The length of stay for prisoners ranges from a few weeks to 1 to 2 months.

In relation to the second part of the question, the forensic mental health service provides a prison in-reach service and all forensic patients are reviewed at a minimum every 3 months and more regularly if referred by the prison health service. Similarly, prisoners are placed on the prison in -reach wait list by the prison health service and seen accordingly.’