The Kitchener Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee has developed a new resource guide to help individuals with mental illnesses who come into contact with the criminal justice system. The booklet is a step-by-step guide to navigating legal processes.
The reader follows “Jane,” an imaginary client, through the different paths of the justice system, from the first encounter with police, to the first appearance in court, to sentencing and appeal. The booklet includes 13 chapters focusing on various stages of the court process, such as: interactions with the police; release from custody (bail); the role of the crown; the role of the defence counsel/duty counsel; the pre-trial/pre-plea stage; the guilty plea; the trial; the sentencing; and the appeal.
The booklet also provides an overview of the Mental Health Court in the Region of Waterloo and outlines the justice and court support services provided by Canadian Mental Health Association, Grand River Branch. The booklet concludes with a list of justice, mental health and community resources available in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
“Mental Health, the Justice System and You: Understanding the Process and the People that Can Help” is available at www.cmhagrb.on.ca.