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About the State Courts Centre for Specialist Services

The State Courts Centre for Specialist Service (CSS) consists of a team of experienced psychologists, counsellors and social workers that provides support to court users and their family.

It provides services which include brief assessments and interventions such as social needs assessments, crisis interventions and support counselling to support the court. Through the assessments, court users and their family members may be linked up to the appropriate community agencies to address their needs.

If you feel that you may benefit from CSS’ services, you may make a request through the court or registry.

CSS also manages the following programmes:

The Early Engagement of Youth Below 21 Years Old (EE21) programme is a voluntary programme for youths charged with a crime in the State Courts. It can be opted into at any time before they are sentenced. 

The youthful offenders’ needs will be assessed holistically and may include the needs of their next-of-kin, as these play a part on the outcome of the youths’ rehabilitation. The relevant referrals will then be made to partner organisations and the State Courts Centre for Specialist Services oversee their progress on the programme until the conclusion of the case. A progress and closing summary form will be submitted to the court prior to sentencing.

The EE21 programme will look into the following types of interventional help: 

 

  • Counselling support to address any underlying emotional issues with the youthful offender and/or their family members 
  • Vocational training for youthful offenders beyond school-going age to help them acquire skills that will enable them to find employment in the future and avoid falling into crime
  • Financial support (if eligible) for youthful offenders who are facing financial difficulties to assist them in receiving the necessary social assistance and prevent re-offending due to economic reasons
The Court-Directed Pre-Sentence Protocol (CPSP) is a regime where the sentencing of a repeat offender is deferred so that he or she may undergo treatment and/or voluntarily undergo residential or structured programmes offered by medical and social organisations. These are intended to address the underlying issues of offending such as alcohol use, addictions, or maladaptive coping mechanisms.

Where the prosecution and the defence consent, the court will call for a CPSP Suitability Report. If deemed suitable, the court will monitor the offender’s compliance to their treatment plan for the underlying issues, as recommended by the supporting/treating agencies, for a minimum of 6 months. At the end of the defined pre-sentence period, the court will pass the appropriate sentence, taking into consideration the offender’s progress in addressing the underlying problems in the intervening period of time. A conditional discharge requiring the offender to stay crime-free for another 12 months may be imposed.

 

Eligibility´╝Ü

  • Plea of guilt to the offence(s) with no qualification of facts 
  • Acknowledgement of existence of an underlying problem contributing to their reoffending
  • Willingness to seek help to address an underlying problem for a period of at least 6 months

If placed on CPSP, the offender’s sentencing will be adjourned for 6 months and the programme will end on their sentencing date. If there are non-compliance issues, or fresh offences committed by the offender pending sentence, the sentencing date may be brought forward or adjourned for further monitoring.

 

The Court-Directed Pre-Sentence Protocol for offenders with Intellectual Disabilities (CPSP-ID) is a regime where the sentencing of an offender with intellectual disabilities is deferred so that he or she may undergo treatment and employment training offered by medical and social organisations. CPSP-ID is an alternative approach for managing offenders with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities who commit minor offences, who are not suitable for probation or other community-based sentencing options, but may benefit more from rehabilitation rather than traditional sentences like incarceration or fines. 

Where the prosecution and the defence consent, the court will call for a CPSP-ID Suitability Report. If deemed suitable, the court will monitor the offender’s compliance to their treatment plan as recommended by the supporting/treating agencies, for 6 to 9 months. At the end of the defined pre-sentence period, a conditional discharge may be considered, while those who show minimal progress could still be sentenced for their offences.

Eligibility´╝Ü

  • Plea of guilt to the offence(s) with no qualification of facts
  • Acknowledgement of existence of an underlying problem contributing to their offending
  • Willingness to seek help to address an underlying problem for a period of at least 6 months
  • Medical diagnosis of mild to moderate intellectual disability
  • Ineligibility for probation or community-based sentences

If placed on CPSP-ID, the offender’s sentencing will be adjourned for 6 to 9 months, and the programme will end on their sentencing date. If there are non-compliance issues, or fresh offences committed by the offender pending sentence, the sentencing date may be brought forward or adjourned for further monitoring.


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