The Development of a Forensic Intellectual Disability Model of Care: Synergy to Achieve Equity
There is a relative lack of research focused on people with intellectual disabilities within forensic settings and limited information describing models of care. This article describes the process of enquiry and information gathering that was synthesized to develop a specific model of care for a specialist forensic intellectual disability secure care unit within a forensic mental health service in Aotearoa (New Zealand). The obligations to address the over representation of tāngata whenua (Māori; Indigenous people of Aotearoa) and to resist the dominant Western and mental health paradigms being ineffectively imposed within this specialist service, were acknowledged as central challenges. A literature review, consultation with tāngata whaikaha hinengaro (service users) and Māori cultural input provided a platform to synthesize diverse perspectives. This resulted in the weaving together of the important elements necessary in a model of care, to optimize specialist forensic intellectual disability care and rehabilitation in Aotearoa. This article has an emphasis on the research literature, but is not a research project, rather it is a description of the process leading to a negotiated model of care to achieve equity.