The Legal Aid Council (LAC) has provided legal representation for 107 mentally ill persons within the last year.
Hugh Faulkner, the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Council, said that his organisation was only able to act because a family member came forward to receive these individuals.
“We are urging persons who have family members who are mentally ill in custody and have not been going to court, to contact us once they are willing to undertake supervision and care of the person,” Faulkner said.
“In two of the cases concerning the mentally ill, we paid private psychiatrists to do the evaluations for the courts.”— Hugh Faulkner
In January, the LAC provided representation to Leslie Spaulding, a mentally ill individual, who had been in custody for 23 years.
Spaulding’s case was resolved when his sister came forward and the council was able to make the requisite application to the court.
Faulkner stated that the LAC also provides its clients with expert services such as DNA testing, to aid their case.
“In two of the cases concerning the mentally ill, we paid private psychiatrists to do the evaluations for the courts so that the persons were not delayed in the system,” he said.