fbpx The factors influencing mental health diversion in the NSW Local Courts | NDARC - National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre

The factors influencing mental health diversion in the NSW Local Courts

Christel Macdonald
Resource Type: NDARC Seminars

Christel Macdonald presented at the NDARC Webinar Series on Thursday 14 July 2022.

This webinar presented results from three studies examining factors magistrates consider when diverting people from court into treatment.

Research has shown that court diversion of people experiencing mental illness can be effective in reducing reoffending. However, there is limited research examining what factors increase or decrease the likelihood of being diverted. This presentation will cover the following questions: How do factors such as offence violence, seriousness and criminal history impact diversion? What do magistrates consider important when making these decisions and do their answers differ based on gender, the court they work in, or years of experience as a magistrate?


About the speaker

Christel Macdonald joined NDARC in 2019, after completing a Bachelor of Psychological Science (Honours) at the University of New South Wales. She is a PhD candidate and a research assistant. Christel's PhD thesis focuses on the factors that influence mental health court diversion and she is supervised by Prof. Don Weatherburn and Prof. Michael Farrell. As a research assistant, Christel is currently working under Prof. Louisa Degenhardt on a systematic review examining the impact of interventions to reduce drug use-related harms among people who experience incarceration.