Court Integrated Services Program

The Court Integrated Services Program (CISP) offers a coordinated approach to the assessment and treatment of accused persons.

CISP focuses on proactive ways to address underlying causes of offending behaviour, providing case management support and linking program participants to support services such as:

  • drug and alcohol treatment services
  • crisis and supported accommodation
  • disability services
  • mental health services
  • acquired brain injury services.

Accused persons are required to undergo a formal risk assessment and screening process before being accepted into the program. If accepted, they are engaged with a CISP case manager who coordinates their treatment, provides regular case management, reviews their progress and provides written reports to the Court.

For further information on CISP in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, visit their Bail support (CISP) webpage.

Key features of the County Court CISP Pilot

Case management is provided by advanced case managers with suitable training and expertise to work with the complexity of the cohort. Case management is available throughout court legal processes as required and will offer participants the ability to exit and re-enter CISP if their need or risk changes.

Accused persons can access the Court's CISP upon making a bail application, bail variation and/or plea of guilty/deferral of sentence in the County Court.

CISP review hearings are presided over by judicial officers in the jurisdiction in which the matter is listed at a particular time.

CISP services include onsite drug and alcohol counselling services.

Outcomes for the Court's CISP Pilot

The CISP Pilot offers case management for an extended period, depending on an individual's level of need and risk. The period of CISP involvement may exceed the usual three to four months to support people over a longer period if required.

Intensity of CISP case management can increase or decrease depending on the specific needs of the individual over the course of the participant's legal proceedings. There may be times when more intense case management and service support is required. There may also be periods of stability where the participant needs less support. A risk and needs-based approach is taken to ensure support is flexible and responsive to the needs of the person.

Participants can exit from CISP and have CISP removed as a condition of bail by a judicial officer (for example, if the participant is not engaging or if the participant's needs or risks have been successfully dealt with and ongoing case management is not necessary). A person can also re-enter CISP and have CISP added as a bail condition if circumstances change and additional support is required.

Eligibility

Referred participants to CISP receive an assessment of their risk of re-offending and information is provided regarding their support needs and treatment options. The process is designed to meet the needs of the participant and the Court.

In order to be eligible for CISP, accused persons must:

  • not currently be sentenced to a parole or community corrections order
  • be eligible for bail or a relevant deferral of sentencing
  • consent to be involved with CISP
  • be experiencing one or more of the following:
    • mental health issues
    • disability, acquired brain injury or cognitive impairment
    • substance abuse issues
    • family violence
    • inadequate social, family and economic support that contributes to the frequency or severity of their offending
    • homelessness
    • other relevant clinical support need.

Program exclusions

People accused of sex offences are ineligible for CCV CISP.

If a person's support needs are so significant that they may reasonably be unable to comply with the program requirements, then a recommendation is made to the Court around the most appropriate treatment and support pathway.

Program benefits

A three-year evaluation of CISP conducted by the University of Melbourne made several significant findings, including:

  • a significant improvement to the physical and mental wellbeing of clients
  • increased compliance with community correction orders
  • reduced risk of re-offending
  • reduced harm to the community
  • cost savings to the Government through reduced nights in prison for offenders and reduced re-offending.

How to make a referral

In order to make a referral to the County Court, a CISP referral form must be completed. Self-referrals can be submitted by email to CCVCISP@courts.vic.gov.au. Legal practitioners wishing to make a referral must submit the referral form together with supporting documentation using eLodgement.

To make a CISP referral to the Magistrates' Court of Victoria, please follow the steps provided on the their Bail support (CISP) webpage.

Contact

Queries about CISP can be directed to:

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Page last updated: 11 January 2021