The History of Justice & Forensic Mental Health Service
Justice Health & Forensic Mental Health Service has its origins in the first European settlement established in Australia in 1788. The health of the penal colony was managed by the Colonial Medical Service, which remained responsible for the medical supervision of convicts until 1836. Subsequently the Prisons Act gave prison governors direct control over healthcare provided to inmates. This continued until 1968 when control of the Prison Medical Service was transferred to the NSW Ministry of Health.
In 1969 two nurses were employed to deliver healthcare to inmates at the Long Bay Correctional Complex. Gradually the Prison Medical Service grew to have a nursing presence at each of the correctional centres around NSW. In 1978 the Nagle Royal Commission made a recommendation that health services to inmates be provided by the NSW Health Department.
In the early 1990s, during a period of reform to healthcare delivery in correctional centres, the Prison Medical Service became the Corrections Health Service and in 1994, the Service was designated a statutory health corporation. In 2004 the Service became known as Justice Health, in recognition of the work we do in the community and courts as well as in correctional and detention facilities.
On 1 January 2011 Local Health Networks became operational where the Service became known as Justice & Forensic Mental Health Network. This changed ensured the organisation aligned with the National Health & Hospitals Reform and was renamed to reflect the service as a specialist network.
On 21 March 2012 the Service was amalgamated and became known as Justice & Forensic Mental Health Network.