Entries by Galina Sapundjieva

OPSIDIANET Newsletter #3

OPSIDIANET Newsletter is a periodic newsletter offering information on recent developments related to the rights of suspects and accused with psycho-social or intellectual disabilities. The third issue of the newsletter gives a general overview of the project, presents the newly published report ‘Vulnerable Offenders: The Rights of Suspects and Accused with Psychosocial and Intellectual Disabilities’, […]

Methodology for Identifying Psychosocial or Intellectual Disabilities of Suspects and Accused

  Recognising the pivotal role, played by criminal justice authorities in identifying and deciding on the most appropriate course of action in situations, involving offenders with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities, this methodology is intended as an introduction to working with such individuals. It covers the essential information to help authorities identify this group of people. […]

Vulnerable Offenders: The Rights of Suspects and Accused with Psychosocial and Intellectual Disabilities

  People with intellectual and/or psychosocial disabilities comprise a disproportionate number of the people who are arrested, who come before the courts and who are deprived from liberty. The reasons for this are complex, but are generally attributed to clinical risk factors, such as co-occurring substance use problems and treatment non-compliance, as well as social […]

Identification Methodologies and Participation Facilitation Tools

This background paper offers a review of the methodologies for identifying suspects and accused persons with psychosocial and intellectual disabilities and the practical tools for addressing their special needs and facilitating their participation in the proceedings. It was developed within the framework of the project Offenders with Psycho-Social and Intellectual Disabilities: Identification, Assessment of Needs […]

Dropped Murder Charges Prompt Lawmakers to Assess Mental Health System’s Role in Public Safety

A prosecutor’s decision last month to drop three high-profile criminal cases in Chittenden County has prompted a legislative review of the state’s justice system. Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George said she dropped two murder charges, and one charge of attempted murder, because she was unable to prove the defendants weren’t legally insane when they […]

From hospital to homeless: Victoria’s mental health system fails the most vulnerable

People experiencing homelessness and poor mental health are among Australia’s most vulnerable citizens. Without secure housing and an accessible mental healthcare system, recovery from mental illness is seriously compromised. And the upcoming Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System will be judged by how it responds to this crisis of mental health and housing. In […]