Magistrates Court of Western Australia

Intellectual Disability Diversion Program Court

The Intellectual Disability Diversion Program (IDDP) Court seeks to reduce the number of individuals in the adult criminal justice system who may have one or more of the following diagnoses:

  • Intellectual Disability (ID)
  • Cognitive Disability (CD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The court aims to work with individuals living in the community 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 relating to their criminal charge/s that is proportionate, fair, considers the interests of the victim of the offence, if any, and is appropriate to the circumstances of the accused’s 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.

Participation is strictly voluntary.

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

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.

If a person is charged with a criminal offence, to be eligible to participate, the individual must:

  • Have been diagnosed with an ID, CD or ASD by a suitably qualified person, or likely to be diagnosed if assessed by a suitably qualified person.
  • Have been charged with offences that can be dealt with in the Magistrates Court, for which there is a prospect of being sentenced to other than an immediate term of imprisonment or been referred by a Judge of the District Court.
  • Have entered, or be likely to enter a plea/ pleas of guilty to at least a significant proportion of their charges.
  • Be suitable for bail and be able to comply with certain bail conditions.
  • Consent to participate in the IDDP Court program.

To refer an individual to the IDDP Court you will need to make an application to the Court that the person is appearing in. The Duty Lawyer can assist with this.

If the application is granted the person will need to attend the IDDP Court on a Monday at 10:00am.

In the IDDP Court, the accused will have an opportunity to be assessed by Adult Community Corrections in the Department of Justice as to their suitability for the IDDP Court program.

Applicants may also need to be assessed by an expert such as a psychologist or neuropsychologist, which may be ordered by the IDDP Court.

There is no cost to the applicant for this assessment.

If assessed as suitable, the participant will be accepted into the IDDP Court program.

Adult Community Corrections will develop a plan in conjunction with the participant, their family and/or carer and, if applicable, their guardian, Department of Communities and service provider(s).

The participant will be required to attend the IDDP Court, as directed by the magistrate, to monitor their progress on the plan over a period of approximately 4 to 6 months.

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

The court sits on Mondays at Perth Magistrates Court, 501 Hay St, Perth.

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: 11-Feb-2021

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