Not fit for prison: The journey of a mentally disabled woman through the criminal justice system

Each time Josie appeared before the psychologists they started from scratch: looking over her past, assessing her mental abilities, and checking whether she understood the criminal charges she faced.


In July at the Auckland women’s prison, the 24-year-old was dressed in a stitched gown and seemed hazy on her personal details. She couldn’t recall her full name correctly. But she was able to tell the prison forensic team: “I have been in prison before.”


The report concluded she was unlikely to be found fit to stand trial.


The same conclusion had already been reached on another matter last year, but here was Josie in the criminal justice system again. Each time she faced new charges, a new report had to be written. There had been three reports in the past two years.


Source: Stuff

Read the full story here.