The Justice Project

The Justice Project consultations drawing to a close

With the Justice Project consultations drawing to a close, one of the last stops this week was Mildura in country Victoria.

Law Council President, Fiona McLeod SC, spoke to the local ABC station about the justice issues facing those experiencing social and economic disadvantage in rural, regional and remote parts of Australia.

A holistic approach through therapeutic, diversionary and linked-up services is one of the ways the Justice Project has found can be effective in addressing high youth offending rates, which at 42 per 1000 in Mildura, almost double those of Victoria.

A key message has revolved around the need to address young people’s underlying needs, whether these relate to safe and stable housing (including bail accommodation), substance abuse, their needs as victims of family violence and trauma, and educational re-engagement, if they are to have a more optimistic future.

The issues raised regarding Mildura and the surrounding region are not too dissimilar to the issues faced in many rural, regional and remote towns across Australia where the therapeutic services needed to underpin diversionary and early prevention approaches are often insufficient to cope with local needs. The tyranny of distance to appropriate services, which may be hundreds of kilometres away, combined with a lack of public transport, can also substantially undermine youth justice outcomes.

“Without appropriate intervention and other solutions in the system where people are diverted away from the justice system to whole and healthy lives we are compounding the economic and social disadvantage and inter-generational trauma,” Law Council President, Ms McLeod said.

The Law Council would like to thank all those who have made submissions so far. Consultations for the Justice Project are closing soon, so it’s not too late to have your say.

Consultations for the Justice Project are closing soon, but it’s not too late to have your say.

To ensure everyone has an opportunity to share what is working well to improve access to justice outcomes and highlight the unique access to justice challenges faced by those experiencing disadvantage in the 13 identified groups, we’ve created an easy online submission form.

You can access the online submission form here.

If you would like any further information about the Justice Project or require assistance please don’t hesitate to contact the Justice Project team by phone (02) 6246 3788 or email. Submissions close 30 September 2017.

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