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Click to download - sample letter to psychologist (RTF file)


Name of psychologist

Dear Name

  1. RE: Steven Jones
  2. Request for Psychological Assessment
  3. Court Date: 25 November 2012 at Newcastle Local Court

Thank you for seeing Mr Jones and for agreeing to prepare your assessment in accordance with the Legal Aid scale fee.

We seek a psychological assessment of Mr Jones' disability for the purposes of making an application under section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 [and to refer Mr Jones to Aging Disability and Homecare (ADHC) for assistance – if you intend to make such a referral]. Section 32 is a mechanism to divert certain categories of people charged with criminal offences away from the criminal justice system and into support and, where appropriate, treatment to address the issues which led to their alleged offending.

Section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 is available to people who are “developmentally disabled”. The term “developmentally disabled” is used in the Act. However, it is not defined in the legislation or in the DSM IV. Should you find that Mr Jones has an intellectual disability and is “developmentally disabled” within the everyday meaning of that term, we would be pleased if your report could include the term “developmentally disabled” to reflect the language of the legislation and to avoid any possible confusion in the mind of the judicial officer.

[Mr Jones may be deemed eligible for ADHC services if he has an IQ of less than 70 and deficits in adaptive functioning, onset of which occurred prior to the age of 18 years. A plus or minus 5 confidence interval is applicable to the assessment of IQ.]

We enclose a copy of the following documents:

  • A copy of the police facts and antecedents;
  • A copy of s32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990;
  • Expert Witness Code of Conduct contained in Schedule 7 of the Uniform Civil Procedure Rules 2005 which you must read and by which you must agree to be bound when preparing your report and
  • [Include any other documents that may be of assistance such as previous reports etc]

Please provide us with your report addressing the following:

  • Your qualifications;
  • That you have read the Expert Witness Code of Content and agree to be held by the code in the preparation of this report;
  • When you saw the client for the purpose of your assessment;
  • Any relevant history obtained during the course of your assessment;
  • The outcome of any assessments undertaken, specifically an assessment of the client’s and any deficits in adaptive functioning;
  • Whether or not the client is developmentally disabled;
  • [Whether or not, on the criteria outlined above, Mr Jones is eligible for ADHC services];
  • The extent and effect of any disability including deficits in cognitive and adaptive functioning (for example, short term memory difficulties, a lack of impulse control, difficulties with personal care and motivation etc.) and the impact upon his daily life;
  • Any link between the client's disability and the alleged offence;
  • Any link between the client's disability and the circumstances surrounding the alleged offence;
  • The supports which are and/or should be in place which would help to reduce the risk of further offending behaviour;
  • Anything else that, in your view, may be of assistance and to the Court in determining whether or not to divert Mr Jones away from the criminal justice systems and into appropriate supports.

We would be pleased to receive a copy of your report 5 business days prior to the next court date, which is indicated in the subject line of this letter. Please do not hesitate to contact the writer should you require any further information or have any queries about our request.

Yours faithfully

Julie Brown

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Letter to ADHC requesting internal review of decision