Case Study: Supporting to break the re-offending cycle

Veretis Legal Psychology supported an individual who had over a number of years demonstrated repeated driving related offences. Due to the ongoing nature of the offences a custodial sentence was becoming a likely circumstance for the individual.

Their lawyer referred the individual to Veretis Legal Psychology for a sentencing report to help understand what was driving/contributing to their ongoing offending. The individual came from a positive and prosocial background and beside the driving offences had not demonstrated any other antisocial attitudes or behaviours. The reasoning behind his repeated offending was unclear to this point.

Veretis Legal Psychology clinicians met with the individual to engage in a clinical interview, during the process it became evident that the individual struggled to recall basic details and make basic decisions. This indicated to the Veretis Legal Psychology clinician that the client potentially suffered from a cognitive impairment which was impacting his ability to learn and follow instructions. A complete cognitive assessment battery was administered utilising industry standard assessments including the WAIS-IV, and R-BANS. The results showed a compelling story. The results indicated that the individual had a clear intellectual impairment (placing him in the bottom 2% of cognitive abililty compared to people his age) which had gone undiagnosed. In particular the individual experienced difficulty in retaining new information which impacted his ability to learn (thus impacting his ability to adjust his behaviour).

The assessment highlighted that a custodial sentence would not be the best way of breaking this individual’s cycle of offending, and prevent him from further dangerous driving. Through our assessment and report Veretis Legal Psychology was able to provide an alternative treatment and support plan which directly addressed the individual’s impairment and worked to get the right supports around him, not just in regard to his driving but also in other areas of his life that were being impacted.

Over a year later, the individual has not reoffended (where he usually was reoffending on a near monthly basis), has managed to sustain meaningful employment and enjoys a healthy relationship with his daughter.