Queensland Integrated Court Referrals

Queensland Integrated Court Referrals (QICR) is a court process that helps defendants access treatment and support services through short-term, bail-based referrals.

These services help them address the contributors to their offending, specifically:

  • problematic substance use
  • mental illness
  • impaired decision-making capacity
  • homelessness or risk of homelessness.

Treatment and support may also continue post-sentence. You may wish to seek legal advice about participating in QICR.

Watch the video for more information about QICR.

Benefits of QICR

Queensland Integrated Court Referrals:

  • reduces the likelihood and seriousness of future offending
  • connects you with appropriate treatment and support services to help you improve your health, wellbeing and quality of life
  • gives the magistrate information about your engagement with these services so they can encourage and monitor your progress. Magistrates may consider this engagement during sentencing
  • gives magistrates information about your personal circumstances to assist their decision-making.

Eligibility

To be eligible for QICR, you must:

  • be charged as an adult
  • have entered a plea of guilty or intend to plead guilty
  • be charged with offences that will be dealt with in the Magistrates Court (as you’re ineligible for QICR if you’re charged with an offence that will proceed to the District or Supreme Court)
  • be on bail
  • have, or are likely to have, at least one of these contributors to your offending
    • problematic substance use
    • mental illness
    • impaired decision-making capacity
    • homelessness or risk of homelessness
  • consent to your personal information being shared between the court and any other organisation involved in QICR. At a minimum, your information will be shared with police prosecutions, your legal representative and service providers, and potentially Queensland Corrective Services if you are or become involved with them.

Participating in QICR

  1. To participate, you go to the QICR facilitator’s office in the Magistrates Court in Brisbane, Cairns, Ipswich or Southport, or speak to your legal representative.
  2. The QICR facilitator assesses your eligibility and, if you’re eligible, completes an eligibility assessment (PDF, 2.5MB) (EAF) and screening and referral (PDF, 5.2MB) (SRF):
    1. The EAF gives the magistrate information about your eligibility.
    2. The SRF collects your personal and medical information, and helps the Case Assessment Group (CAG) identify appropriate services for you.
  3. After receiving the EAF, the magistrate may adjourn your matter and refer you for assessment by the CAG.
  4. The CAG assesses your suitability to participate and nominates an appropriate service provider to help you.
  5. The nominated service provider gives the magistrate information about your suitability. The magistrate then decides whether you’re suitable for QICR.
  6. If you are suitable, your bail includes a condition that you participate in the QICR process.

The QICR process

The nominated service providers work with you to develop an engagement plan. You must engage with service providers in line with this plan.

At each of your court appearances, service providers complete a progress report (PDF, 2.9MB) for the court, detailing your engagement with their service.

At the end, the service provider completes a final report about your engagement with them and may recommend that you continue with them post-sentence. The magistrate may consider these reports when sentencing.

The magistrate may also order you to continue with a service provider after you’re sentenced. This may be a condition of a recognisance order (good behaviour bond) or probation order.

Duration of QICR

The QICR process has no set length of time. The duration depends on your engagement and progress in addressing factors contributing to your offending.

The QICR pre-sentence referral period is a period of engagement with service providers while you’re on bail. This ends when a service provider gives the court a final report and a magistrate sentences you. This period is usually 12 weeks, but it depends on your circumstances.

If the magistrate orders you to continue engaging with QICR post-sentence, the duration depends on the support you need.

Your responsibilities

What you’re required to do depends on the treatment or support services you engage with during the process. However, generally, you must:

  • give written, informed consent to participate in QICR and to have your personal information provided to organisations participating in QICR
  • attend all court dates in the Magistrates Court
  • maintain contact and engage with service providers that you’re referred to
  • tell the QICR facilitator and relevant service providers anything changes that affects your ability to participate in QICR, including if you can’t attend an appointment or you want to withdraw from the program.

Not engaging with a service provider

If you’ve been ordered to participate in QICR as a condition of:

  • your bail—it’s not an offence to breach this condition, but the magistrate will be told if you don’t complete the process
  • a recognisance order—you may forfeit the recognisance if you don’t complete the process and court may re-sentence you for your original offences
  • a probation order—your probation may be breached if you don’t complete the process, you may receive further charges and the court may re-sentence you for your original offences.

Cost of QICR

There is no cost for participating in QICR. However, some service providers may charge fees, which aren’t covered by QICR. Engaging with fee-charging service providers is voluntary.

Multiple QICR participation

There is no limit on how many times you can attempt QICR. However, service providers and the magistrate may consider your previous engagement when assessing/deciding your suitability.

Contact us for more information about QICR.