Corrective Services NSW

Mental health

Psychology is the study of mind and behaviour. Psychologists can help to understand how people's thinking relates to their behaviour and to the situation around them. CSNSW employs  psychologists and senior psychologists across different areas of cu​stody and community corrections. They assist in providing:

  • The safe, secure and humane management of offenders and people on remand by providing advice and direct service provision for vulnerable people who are in custody or under supervision of CSNSW. These people include those with mental health and cognitive impairments (including those at risk of self-harm or suicide), and those who pose a risk of harm to others in their immediate environment
  • Reducing risks of re-offending through specialist service and program delivery, particularly for sex and violent offenders and for those with complex clinical and behavioural needs who require extra assistance to access and complete appropriate programs that make a safer community
  • Integration of offenders into custodial environments and reintegration to community on release from custody. Community safety is improved by having well-adjusted and stable people released from custody who are supported in times of need related to risks, and who are engaged with the wider community and can pursue general well-being without criminal behaviour
  • Advising courts, the State Parole Authority, the Mental Health Review Tribunal and other statutory authorities regarding assessment of risks, criminogenic needs, and responsivity issues as well as recommendations for appropriate management of these issues

It is important to distinguish psychiatrists, who are medical doctors, from psychologists, who are not medical doctors, particularly in CSNSW. Psychiatric services for people who have serious mental health impairments are provided in CSNSW by Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network , which is a part of NSW Health not of Corrective Services. Psychologists in CSNSW work in partnership with Justice Health to manage people with mental health impairments and other health-related issues, however Justice Health is the primary agency for health care for people in custody.

Last updated:

11 May 2023

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