The Appropriate Adult Scheme for Persons with Mental Disabilities (AAPMD) Scheme provides support to various law enforcement stakeholders during the investigating interviews involving defendants, victims, or witnesses suspected of having Intellectual Disability (ID), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and/or Mental Health issues through trained volunteers.
The role of the Appropriate Adult (AA) volunteer is not to provide legal advice, but to serve as a bridge between Investigation Officer (IO) and defendants, victims, or witnesses in question to enable both parties to communicate more effectively during investigation process. With the presence of a neutral third party, it lowers the probabilities of subjects misunderstanding the questions posted to them, and likewise he/she may not be misunderstood by IO. This increases the reliability and credibility of the statements recorded.
While the recruitment drive is targeted at Allied Healthcare Professionals (including social workers, psychologists, special education teachers, occupational therapists, psychiatrists), we welcome volunteers from all walks of life to sign up as an Appropriate Adult too.
With immediate effect, lawyers and ex-SPF/CNB officers are welcomed to register as AA volunteers. To prevent conflict of interest, lawyers responding to the activation are required to sign an undertaking form to ascertain that they will not be assisting in any cases and/or the firm that they worked for, would not be subsequently involved as defence counsel for the subject.
All applicants will have to attend a mandatory one-day training session and the selection process applies. Successful applicants will be informed of the training details at least a month prior.
If you are interested in registering as an AA volunteer, or have enquiries, please contact the programme administrator at AppropriateAdult@minds.org.sg