Last updated 29 August 2016
The Queensland Integrated Court Referrals (QICR) model seeks to integrate principles of therapeutic justice into the Magistrates Court when dealing with defendants for whom homelessness, mental illness, problematic substance use or impaired decision-making capacity contribute to their offending. The QICR aims to reduce long-term re-offending by referring eligible defendants to treatment or community support services.
Magistrates, in the normal conduct of the court and having regard to the provisions of the Bail Act 1980 (Qld) (Bail Act), may grant bail under s 11(2) of the Bail Act and/or impose a condition including that the defendant participate in a rehabilitation, treatment or other intervention program (s 11(9)). A program may be attended through QICR while the defendant is on bail and subject to reporting, residential or other special conditions.
Service providers report on the defendant’s attendance and engagement with the services to which they have been referred, and their progress in addressing factors contributing to their offending. These matters are then taken into account by the sentencing magistrate. Additionally, if the court considered a defendant may benefit from participating in the QIRC post sentence, they may make a probation order or recognizance order, in accordance with the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld).
A defendant whose charges include a charge that can only proceed by way of indictment is not eligible to participate.