Additional Support Units

What is an Additional Support Unit?

Statewide Disability Services oversees the running of  3 Additional Support Units (ASUs) within Corrective Services NSW which accommodate offenders who, because of their disability, require placement outside the mainstream correctional centre environment for assessment, general management or to participate in a specific program to address offending behaviour. The majority of offenders placed in these units have an intellectual or other cognitive disability, although some individuals with sensory/physical disabilities may be accommodated

Where are the Units Located?

MSPC 5 Wing Long Bay Correctional Complex

The Additional Support Unit 5 Wing is a 22 bed maximum security General Programs Unit.

Whilst in the unit, offenders are required to undertake a number of programs to address factors relating to offending, safety in custody and enable access to employment. Programs also aim to increase problem solving skills and understanding of the criminal justice system. In addition, offenders are offered a range of educational courses run by special education teachers and are given the opportunity to participate in employment.

Based on an offender's progress whilst in the Unit, they may be moved through into one of the other Additional Support Units or in a suitable mainstream correctional centre.

MSPC 6 Wing Long Bay Correctional Complex

The Additional Support Unit 6 Wing is a 19 bed maximum security unit.

Offenders are generally unsentenced and have access to a l range of programs and educational courses and are given the opportunity to participate in employment. Based on an offender's progress whilst in the Unit, and the outcome of assessment, they may be moved into one of the other Additional Support Units or to a suitable mainstream correctional centre.

MSPC 18 Wing Long Bay Correctional Complex

The Additional Support Unit 18 Wing is a 16 bed minimum security Pre-Release Unit for offenders with intellectual and cognitive disabilities who are nearing the end of their custodial sentence. Programs offered within the Unit are designed to address offending behaviour and decrease the likelihood of recidivism. Employment skills, social and interpersonal skills form a significant part of each individual's program. Staff within 18 Wing liaise extensively with community based services (including Ageing Disability and Home Care NDIS) to ensure that offenders have appropriate post release supports arranged prior to their release.

 

Female Offenders

There are no Additional Support Units for women with a disability; however Statewide Disability Services works closely with those correctional centres managing women offenders to ensure suitable placement and effective management.

How are Offenders Selected for Placement in the Additional Support Units?

All offender placements within the ASU are on the recommendation of the Statewide Disability Services Placement Committee which meets on a weekly basis .

In order for an offender to be considered for placement in an Additional Support Unit the following criteria apply:

1.    The offender must have been referred to SDS for assessment or be known to SDS

2.    The offender must be assessed as having an IQ below 80 [1] or an Acquired Brain Injury that affects individual functioning and/or management [2]

3.    The offender must be referred for consideration of placement in an Additional Support Unit by a Corrective Services NSW staff member or an external source

4.    The offender must be suitable for placement.

Due to the limited number of beds available within the Additional Support Units and the nature of Intellectual Disability and Acquired Brain Injury, there are a number of factors taken into account to determine if an offender is suitable for placement. These include:

·         A need for additional care, protection or supervision in the offender's own interests or the interests of others.

·         Offender is unable to cope in mainstream gaol due to their disability, including difficulty with social adjustment and peer relationships.

·         Previous placement in mainstream correctional centre's has been problematic and has resulted in repeated transfers between centres

·         Offender needs to participate in the specialist programs offered in the Additional Support Units, including specialist 'Throughcare' planning.

·         There is a need for further assessment pertaining to the offender's disability.

If you have any questions regarding the Additional Support Units, please send an email toSDS@dcs.nsw.gov.au and an appropriate staff member will contact you.


[1] The strict clinical definition of Intellectual Disability is not used to determine placement in the Additional Support Units. For placement, SDS uses a higher cut off point in terms of IQ and a stronger emphasis on functioning.

[2] If an offender does not meet this criteria, but there is reason to believe that due to a disability they require placement in an Additional Support Unit they can still be considered. Please contact SDS outlining all relevant information as addressed in this section.​