People with disability who come into contact with the justice system will be better supported back into the community under a landmark agreement struck at the COAG Disability Reform Council today.

Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services Gareth Ward said the decision to introduce Justice Liaison Officers (JLOs) will contribute to achieving the Premier’s priority of reducing recidivism in the prison population.

“We know that a significant number of offenders in both adult prison and juvenile detention have disabilities and don’t necessarily get the support they need when exiting the justice system,” Mr Ward said.

“As part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, JLOs will provide a coordinated approach to supporting people with disability, to help them transition to a life free of crime.”

An interstate working group will produce an implementation plan for the roll out and report to the Council in December. At today’s meeting the Council also agreed to:

  • Improve the Information, Linkage and Capability Building (ILC) component of the NDIS to better target all people with disability, their families and carers
  • Develop an approach to improve the access and experience for participants with psychosocial disability in the NDIS
  • Continue work to provide greater transparency and accountability around how the NSW Government’s contribution to the NDIS is spent

“The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will continue to lead national reform when it comes to the disability sector,” Mr Ward said.

“As a partner with the Commonwealth, we are committed to helping improve the NDIS so it delivered great outcomes for people across our state.”

The NSW Government contributed $3.3 billion to the NDIS in the 2019-20 NSW Budget.

More than 100,000 people are benefitting from the scheme across the state. Close to 40,000 of them are receiving services for the first time.

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