Community Justice Coalition
Bedlam Forum 2013... the Way Out PDF Print E-mail

Round 2 of the Bedlam Talks!

 

The second Bedlam forum was held in November 2013. The second round of talks continued with the hypothetical format that was adopted in 2012, tracing the journey of a mentally ill person through the criminal justice and mental health systems. The agenda of the forum was to examine the problems and issues that can arise in the later stages of imprisonment or detention of a mentall ill person in a mental health facility and post-release. 

 

The transcript of the forum can be accessed via this link.

 

For a summary of the issues and problems that were raised in the forum, please click here

 

 

DSCN3226                          DSCN3228 

 

 

 

 

 

 DSCN3237                          DSCN3240

 

 

 
Bedlam - Hypothetical Mental health and Justice (Stage 2) PDF Print E-mail
 
 

The Community Justice Coalition and

International Commission of Jurists Australia    

 

Present:

 

BEDLAM…

THE WAY OUT

FACILITATED BY STEPHEN LANCKEN, PROMINENT SYDNEY MEDIATOR

 

 

WITH A PANEL OF EXPERTS:


 DAN HOWARD, SC –President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal

PAUL CLORAN – Deputy Chair Parole Authority

OLAV NIELSEN – Senior forensic psychiatrist

DOUGLAS HOLMES – Consumer Participation Officer, Inner City Health Program, St Vincent’s Hospital 

 cjcbedlampr191113


 TUESDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2013 

5.30pm-7.30pm – Registration 5.15pm

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, Macquarie Room

Macquarie Street, Sydney

 

Adults $20 Students, concession $10 Cash or cheque only

RSVP:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

THE WAY OUT …

Using a hypothetical format, we continue to trace the journey of a mentally ill person who may have committed an offence, through the criminal justice and mental health systems. In this session we examine the second stage of the journey. Last year we dealt with arrest or detention or surrender and subsequent appearance before a court or tribunal. This year we will deal with the later stages of prison or detention in a mental health facility and post-release issues.

The panel of experts will be asked to address various factual situations. Our aim is to identify problems and seek solutions by taking a practical approach.

Join us as we explore the complex and often confusing pathways through these systems in the second of the series following the first seminar held 29 September 2012.

 
 
 
 
 
  

 
A look into the success of the first Bedlam of 2012
 
  • Here is a report on the issues brought up and discussed during Bedlam 2012.
  • Although Bedlam is a hypothetical scenario, this does not deny that the issues are REAL and seeking attention - attention we so got through the success and poularity of Bedlam 2012 and so wish to receive in the upcoming Bedlam 2013. 
  • To read more about the issues and happenings of Bedlam 2012 click here to view the transcript of proceedings
  • For a video of a snippet here  http://youtu.be/PN-_fe4znho
 
cjcbedlampstr1cjcbedlam29912
 
 
 
 General Issues of Bedlam include: 
 
  • Legislation

There are three Acts: the Crimes Act defines crimes; the Mental Health Act (MHA) provides a
legislative framework for the treatment, voluntary or involuntary, of mental health patients; the
Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act looks at the intersection between mental health issues and
justice issues.

 

  • Defining mental illness

There are two different categories under the legislation, the mentally disordered, and the mentally
ill, MHA sections 13, 14 and 15 (definitions for these). It can be difficult to determine the boundary
where, eg, severe depression becomes mental disorder, where there is lack of control etc. It is a
matter for the expert to assess. The court is guided by expert opinion.

 

  • Police role in picking up mental illness

If the Police see bizarre behaviour of a person, they may take the person to hospital. If the doctor
considers the person poses a substantial risk of serious harm to himself or others, he may be
Scheduled as mentally ill, and involuntarily treated in the hospital. 

 

  • Numbers affected by mental illness

Some 16,400 people (detained on mental health grounds) came before the Mental Health Review
Tribunal in the last two years. And there are many others who do not get before the Tribunal, but 

who may come before the justice system

 


 

 

The Hypothetical Case of Eric

 

Bedlam presents a hypothetical case of Eric, a young Australia, 19, who gets in a situation as presented below: 

 

"Eric, 19, has had a big night out, and a ‘friend’ has slipped


him an undisclosed drug which has a strange effect on him. His friends take him out of the


hotel at 1 am or so, and he gets very agitated. Someone hits him; he lunges out, smashing a


plate glass window and hurting himself. His mates disappear quickly. The Police come. He is


incoherent, can’t remember his name or who he is, how he got blood on his hands or how the


window got broken. He is agitated and threatening violence."

 

 
Eric is just 1 of the approximately 54,000 people who visit Sydney's St. Vincent's Hospital and may be apart of the 10% that present with pressing Mental Health Issues. 
 
So what are we, as Australian citizens, to do?
 
This video and excerpt from Bedlam 2012, will give some insight into this tricky question. 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
Bedlam - Hypothetical Mental health and Justice PDF Print E-mail

(Poster download)

The Community Justice Coalition and
 

International Commission of Jurists Australia

Present:

BEDLAM:

 

A hypothetical journey through the Justice and Mental Health Systems

FACILITATED BY STEPHEN LANCKEN, PROMINENT SYDNEY MEDIATOR


WITH A PANEL OF EXPERTS:

GREG JAMES – Former President of the Mental Health Review Tribunal

ANGELA KARPIN – Former Judge of the District Court

OLAV NIELSSEN – Senior forensic psychiatrist 

DOUGLAS HOLMES – Consumer Participation Officer, Inner City Health Program, St Vincent’s Hospital

NSW POLICE REPRESENTATIVE - Sgt Matthew Ireland, Project coordinator, Mental health intervention team
 

Saturday 29th September

9.30am – 12.00 noon - Registration 9.15am
 

Sydney Mechanics School Of Arts Theatre

280 Pitt Street Sydney

Adults $20 Students, concession $10 Cash or cheque only
RSVPThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 

The journey begins…
Using a hypothetical format, we trace the journey of a mentally ill person who may have committed an offence, through the criminal justice and mental health systems. The panel of experts will be asked to address various factual situations. Our aim is to seek solutions to problems by taking a practical approach.

Join us as we explore the complex and often confusing pathways through these systems in the first of a series.

In this session, we examine the first 2 stages of the journey:- arrest or detention or surrender and subsequent appearance before a court or tribunal. Next year we will deal with the later stages of prison or detention in a mental health facility and post-release.

 

 
Politicians, Promises and Prisons Forum PDF Print E-mail
 The Community Justice Coalition

International Commission of Jurists Australia

present a



Public Forum 

(poster download)

Politicians, Promises and Prisons

forum cjc

Speakers:
Hon. Greg Smith, MP. SC. Attorney General, Minister for Justice, Liberal Party

Hon. Paul Lynch. MP. Shadow Attorney General, ALP.

Hon. David Shoebridge. Justice Spokesperson  Greens Party

   

Prior to the  2011 NSW State elections the Community Justice Coalition (CJC) made a submission to the political parties asking them to commit to a list of major reforms designed to make the justice and the prison system more just, effective in rehabilitating prisoners, lowering the recidivism rate,  making the systems more socially effective and less costly,  to cease participating in the media “law and order” campaigns which led to the doubling the prison population at a time when the crime rate was falling.

The CJC and ICJ held a Public Forum on the 21st of April 2012 to examine the progress being made with regards to these reforms in order to question each party's commitment to the criminal justice system.

Click below to view a summary of the Forum as presented by the respective speakers:

Read more...
 
CJC analysis and party responses PDF Print E-mail

 

The CJC has released an exclusive analysis of the major parties' policy responses to the Justice Questionnaire.


The original party responses to the questionnaire have also been exposed on our website.

Click here to read them!

 


 
Media Release 28/02/11 PDF Print E-mail

Cross-Examination of Party Policies


“Under cross-examination at the Justice Forum, the major parties revealed their depth of commitment to ending the failed ‘law and order’ campaigns, and focusing on rehabilitation and deterrence” said CJC President David Bitel.


“The parties’ responses show that much needed reforms are likely to occur. For example, all major parties pledged their support for placing computers in cells, in order to lower the recidivism rate. They also confirmed that they will review The Bail Act and re-write it in plain language” said John Dowd, the retired judge and Vice-President of Austcare.


“The CJC has examined the issues that were raised during the open question segment of the Pre-State Election Forum. We have released an analysis of party policy responses to these issues on our website. The issues raised involved community perceptions of the prison system, computers in cells, reforming The Bail Act, homelessness and The Bail Act, implementing a trial needle and syringe program, and mental illness within prisons” said David Bitel.

 

 
Media Release 17/02/11 PDF Print E-mail

 

Community Justice Coalition

Media Release   February 17, 2011


Justice Forum – Election Policies Exposure


“Political parties have been encouraged to present their policies before the election and will be questioned about them, in response to the Community Justice Coalition questionnaire at the Saturday Forum,” said CJC President David Bitel.

State Election Forum Flyer

The CJC last November submitted a 33 page Questionnaire to all political parties inviting responses to issues around prison reform. “It is intended to provide the impetus for a serious public debate,” asserted CJC Vice President, Hon John Dowd, AO, QC.

The Attorney General Hon. John Hatzistergos, Mr Greg Smith for the Liberals, and David Shoebridge for the Greens will be responding to questions about their policies at the Forum on Saturday 19th February at the Sydney Mechanics School of Arts 280 Pitt St at 10am.

“The Questionnaire responses are a refreshing change from the normal law and order auction. New policy overturning bail presumptions are likely to be created following the polls with both the Liberals and Greens in favour of fair changes,” said John Dowd.

 

 

Download Poster

“For governance and transparency of prisons, the Liberals & Nationals propose the role of Inspector of Corrections, and likewise the Greens assert that “the recent trend of increasing the power and reducing the oversight of the Commissioner must be reversed, whilst the ALP rejects change.” With the endemic health problem of Hepatitis C and AIDS, both the Liberals and Greens support a trial needle and syringe program, whilst the ALP doesn’t intend any change” said David Bitel.

“The Greens and the Liberals support quality educational resources, both in and out of prisons, with a range of appropriate resources and technology. However, the view of the Government is that there should be no prohibition against in-cell study but the Government fails to implement practical structures to ensure access to education,” said David Bitel


Contacts:
David Bitel, on (02) 9286 8700 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Chris Puplick on 0403 223 094
John Dowd on 8249 3221
Joan Bielski 9437 6916
or 9283 0123 ext 12

The Community Justice Coalition comprises organisations including the Aboriginal Legal Service, Unions NSW, the International Commission of Jurists, NCOSS, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, NSW Teachers Federation and NSW Council for Civil Liberties.