The research team is excited to announce the release of the Regina Mental Health Disposition Court: A Formative Investigation. Dr. Michelle Stewart and Brittany Mario prepared the report with support from Dr. Stewart’s research team at the University of Regina. This project is the result of collaboration between the University of Regina, the Ministry of Justice and the Provincial Court of Saskatchewan. The research team did have an advisory group but the findings are independent.
This report might be of interest to those that work on FASD as one of the recommendations is to rename the court the “Mental Health and FASD Court” to better reflect the participants and the range of complex needs they have. Key findings and recommendations are put forward and can be found in the Executive Summary.
The Mental Health Disposition Court is a dedicated docket that meets twice monthly to focus on cases involving individuals with mental health and/or cognitive or intellectual disability. For the past two years, this court has been working to divert individuals, when appropriate, out of the jails. The report documents the outcomes associated to the court to date including information about who is using the Court, how efficacy and value can be measured, the primary challenges facing the participants, how the court operates differently, and the relationship between community supports and negative involvement with the criminal justice system. The court notes the many challenges facing clients including the lack of affordable and supported housing.
This report is an outcome of a research project made possible by funding from the University of Regina’s Partnership Research Grant. The research team thanks all of the individuals who shared their insights and the court workers who assisted in the collection of further data. The team would also like to thank all the students that assisted with the project and colleagues at the Canada FASD Research Network whose work offers insights into complex needs in the justice system. For more information about this project, or to request the full report, please contact: Dr. Michelle Stewart at the University of Regina (firstname.lastname@example.org).