Second justice centre possible

Helen Morton opens the Disability Justice Centre in Lockridge.Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au   d441716
Helen Morton opens the Disability Justice Centre in Lockridge.Picture: Matt Jelonek        www.communitypix.com.au d441716

The Government announced in 2013 that two disability justice centres would be built, one in Caversham and the other on Altone Road in Kiara.

The centres were designed as an alternative to a prison for up to 10 people aged 16 and over with intellectual and cognitive disabilities charged with, but not convicted of, an offence.

In June last year, the Eastern Reporter exclusively reported Disability Services Minister Helen Morton sent Planning Minister John Day a letter that said the Kiara site was no longer needed for a second justice centre.

Back then, Ms Morton said there was a �high probability that a second disability justice centre the same as the one being built� at Caversham would not be required.

Now, despite only two residents in the centre, Ms Morton could not confirm the second centre would not go ahead.

�The process of evaluation will take place after the Disability Justice Centre and the in-reach program have been operating for a number of years and will inform the future planning for the Disability Justice Service,� she said.

Bennett Brook was opened on Lord Street in Caversham in August, with two people moved into the $8.47 million facility by August 20.

A third resident could move into the centre within coming months, with Ms Morton waiting for recommendations from the Mentally Impaired Accused Review Board.

Ms Morton said the facility was built to meet demand over several years into the future.

�We have deliberately chosen to take a cautious and careful approach to building up numbers in the facility in order to bed down operational policies and procedures,� she said.