More options needed for offenders with mental health issues

During a hearing in the Dunedin District Court yesterday, Anita Dorothy Cumming repeatedly screamed and eventually had to be removed to a side room.

Her lawyer, Marie Taylor-Cyphers, said there should be options other than jail for a defendant such as Cumming.
“It’s a general problem that I’m experiencing with a number of people traversing through our criminal justice system who have mental health issues, now in our justice system at the moment we have a very high threshold for dealing with these people. Either they may suffer from an intellectual disability, they may be found unfit to stand trial, or they may also or separately have a defense of insanity available to them,” Ms Taylor-Ciphers said.

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