Contents

Chapter 9
Proposal for reform

Two assessments: “risk” and “suitability”

9.108After a perpetrator and a victim have been assessed as eligible to participate in the alternative process, two further assessments need to occur: first, whether a case should be excluded based on public interest criteria, or because it would pose an unacceptable risk to community safety (the risk assessment); and second, whether the case is otherwise suitable to proceed through the alternative process (the suitability assessment). These assessments are discussed below and in greater detail in Chapter 8.

Risk assessment

9.109The risk assessment should be conducted through application of the risk assessment framework discussed in Chapter 8. The operational guidelines/good practice standards (see Appendix D) will need to set out how a provider should apply the risk assessment.

9.110We recommend that all providers should receive training on how to apply the framework. This decision of providers regarding the risk assessment would be subject to review by our proposed independent review panel: see further below.

Suitability assessmentTop

9.111Operational guidelines/good practice standards (see Appendix D) should set out the matters that providers will need to consider in making this assessment, as well as the actual process of conducting the assessment including identifying and dealing with intimate partner violence.642 There are a number of risk assessment tools in existence for assessing family violence and these could be drawn on.

9.112We recommend that providers should receive training on conducting suitability assessments, and that their decision regarding suitability should not be subject to review by our proposed independent review panel, for the reasons set out later in this chapter.

recommendations

642For instance, outlining the information required to be obtained in addition to meeting with the victim and perpetrator and from whom (i.e. from Police, the perpetrator’s criminal history and details of any protection or restraining orders).