Page zoom: (-) | (+) | Normal
Font size: A - | A + | Reset

Further reading and case studies

Charge negotiations

A case for charge negotiation - Darren

Darren (18) is a young Aboriginal man who has a mild intellectual disability. He was travelling in a taxi with two others from the youth refuge where he had been residing. Unknown to Darren, two of these young people decided to rob the taxi driver. Darren was present, and was drawn in to the robbery when the others demanded he ask for coins.

Darren did not have a criminal history and was a minor player in a serious offence. There is no doubt that his disability impaired his judgement, and his response to the situation. He was refused bail because of the seriousness of the offence, the strength of the prosecution case, the likely sentence and the fact that he had nowhere to live.

He spent 8 months in an adult jail before he was released by the sentencing judge on a two-year good behaviour bond. His experience in custody was devastating. He was sexually assaulted and spoke about not sleeping during the night in case he wet his bed. He was terrified of the response by other prisoners who might discover this problem. It is our view that Darren's experience would have been dramatically different if section 32 of the MHFPAMental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 NSW applied.

(IDRS thanks the Shopfront Youth Legal Centre for permission to use this case study.)

Go to top of the page

Negotiations with policeMultiple previous section32s