Mentally impaired accused on ‘custody orders’: Not guilty, but incarcerated indefinitely


This report examines the indefinite detention of Mentally Impaired Accused persons, pursuant to custody orders available in the Western Australian sentencing system. These orders are available under the Criminal Law (Mentally Impaired Accused) Act 1996. The report focuses on evaluating the capacity for prisons to rehabilitate this distinct class of persons. In presenting the evaluation, the report notes the significant difference between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in terms of their custodial placement, with only one Aboriginal person being placed in an unauthorised hospital, out of eighteen Aboriginal people taken into custody under the Act.

The report makes numerous recommendations directed at improving the management of mentally impaired accused.

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