Western Australia’s Court Diversion programs deal with people who have underlying problems which contribute to their offending, with a view to helping them to get their lives back on track and keep them out of prison. The diversionary courts are not about absolving people of their crimes, but recognising that people struggling with issues such as substance abuse; mental health; family violence; gambling, and homelessness need rehabilitation and support. Evidence shows us that people who go through WA’s range of diversionary programs are less likely to reoffend.
Alison is a strong supporter of diversionary courts and therapeutic approaches to reducing offending. She was part of the lobbying effort which resulted in the establishment of the Mental Health Court Diversion and Support program which includes the adults’ Start Court and children’s Links program.
Alison will continue to advocate for an expansion of diversionary programs, particularly into regional areas and to further groups of offenders, in line with recommendations made by the WA Law Reform Commission in 2009.