Where we are up to
A project officer was engaged by Court Services Victoria (CSV) to explore the following projects:
- Aboriginal Community Justice Reports – assessing the suitability (safeguards) and the types of reports for CSV
- Koori Programs on Country – explore models and options for sentencing in community settings
- Healing Court – multi-jurisdictional or multi program
- Diversion – cultural diversion.
This work continues to be progressed however CSV will no longer consider Aboriginal Community Justice Reports given the trial being overseen by the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS).
VALS is part of a three-year project to investigate the use of Aboriginal Community Justice Reports in Australia. Funded under an Australian Research Council Linkages Grant, VALS are partnering with the University of Technology Sydney, Griffith University, Five Bridges, Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and being supported by Aboriginal Legal Services, Canada to understand the Gladue report model.
The project aims to improve sentencing processes and outcomes for Aboriginal defendants by providing courts with information about the personal and community circumstances of Aboriginal individuals before the courts, and which provide relevant sentencing options that are accompanied with appropriate supports.
A report writing service has been established at VALS with an Aboriginal Justice report writer and case worker appointed. The aim is to prepare 20 Aboriginal Community Justice Reports for Aboriginal women with criminal matters in Koori Court. The report writing process will involve interviews with clients and other members of their family/community, as well as independent research.
This project will look at trialing 'Aboriginal Community Justice Reports', modelled on Canada’s Gladue reports to provide information to judicial officers about an Aboriginal person’s life experience and history that impacts their offending; and to identify more suitable sentencing arrangements to address these underlying factors.