Listed below are examples of services and programs brought to the Commission’s attention.
Aboriginal Visitors Scheme (WA)
This is an independent prison visitor scheme where an Aboriginal volunteer is appointed to monitor the treatment of Aboriginal people held in custody and police lock ups. They offer basic counselling and will inform the Officer in Charge of any urgent medical needs (http://www.correctiveservices.wa.gov.au/rehabilitation-services/aboriginal-visitors-scheme.aspx). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Advocacy and Support Centre, Toowoomba (QLD)
TASC are a community legal centre that provide legal representation, advice and support to disadvantaged people that have a brain injury, psychiatric or intellectual disability (http://www.tascinc.org.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Advocacy Tasmania (Tas)
Advocacy Tasmania provides advocacy services for people with disability in Tasmania (http://www.advocacytasmania.org.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
After Hours Bail Support Service (ACT)
This service provides advice and assistance to young people at risk of being remanded in custody and to police (http://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/ocyfs/the_blueprint_for_youth_justice_in_the_act/youth-justice/after-hours-bail-support-service). Viewed 3 February 2014
Anne McDonald (VIC)
The Anne McDonald Centre provides assessment and therapy for people with little or no functional speech (http://www.annemcdonaldcentre.org.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Assessment and Referral Court List, Melbourne Magistrates’ Court (VIC)
The Assessment and Referral Court List (the List) is a specialist court list developed by the Department of Justice and the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria to meet the needs of accused persons who have a mental illness and/or a cognitive impairment (http://www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au/jurisdictions/specialist-jurisdictions/court-support-services/assessment-and-referral-court-list-arc). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Australian Centre for Disability Law (NSW)
The Australian Centre for Disability Law advises and represents clients on matters concerning disability discrimination and broader human rights matters (http://disabilitylaw.org.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Brain Injury Association of Tasmania (TAS)
The Brain Injury Association of Tasmania can provide an identification card to people with an acquired brain injury and/or epilepsy. The ID card includes personal details, a nominated contact number and information about the person’s disability for police. The program is run in partnership with Tasmania Police (http://biat.org.au/index.php/our-services-2/abi-identification-card). Viewed 29 January 2014)
Centre for Excellence in Positive Behaviour Support, Queensland (QLD)
The Centre was one of the recommendations which arose from the Carter reporter into Challenging Behaviour. The Centre develops best practice research into the use of positive behaviour to improve the lives of people with intellectual disability who exhibit challenging behaviours (http://centreofexcellenceforbehavioursupport.com.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Circle Sentencing (NSW)
Circle sentencing tries to avoid gaol time for Aboriginal offenders by bringing them together with elders. The offender must plead guilty, and punishments are not mild. The system has many benefits for all involved (http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/law/circle-sentencing). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Communication Rights Australia (VIC)
Communication Rights Australia is an advocacy and information service for people with little or no speech (http://www.caus.com.au/www/home/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Community Integration Team, Justice Health (NSW)
The Community Integration team provides pre and post-release care to recently released juveniles, many of whom are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander juveniles with serious psychiatric disabilities (http://www.justicehealth.nsw.gov.au/about-us/health-care-locations/community). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Community Living Association (QLD)
The Community Living Association oversees a wide range of programs developed to assist people with: an intellectual and/or other cognitive disability and mental illness; young people at risk of early school leaving; and young people at risk of homelessness (http://www.communityliving.org.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Court Integrated Services Program (VIC)
The Court Integrated Services Program (CISP) aims to provide the person with disability appearing before court with a variety of services and supports such as social welfare, mental health, housing services and drug treatment. (http://www.magistratescourt.vic.gov.au/jurisdictions/specialist-jurisdictions/court-support-services/court-integrated-services-program-cisp). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Criminal Justice Support Network, Intellectual Disability Rights Service (NSW)
The Intellectual Disability Rights Service operates the Criminal Justice Support Network which provides trained volunteers to people with intellectual disability when they come into contact with the criminal justice system, particularly at the police station and at court (http://www.idrs.org.au/home/index.php). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Disability and Family Violence Crisis Response Initiative – Department of Human Services (VIC)
This initiative provides immediate support for women with disabilities to access crisis accommodation. Short term funds can be provided to a maximum of $9000 while the woman and her family violence worker develop a longer term plan for housing and supports (http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/for-service-providers/children,-youth-and-families/family-violence2/disability-and-family-violence-crisis-response). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Diversion Programs (NSW)
In some circumstances, people facing criminal charges in court may be referred to a rehabilitation, treatment or intervention program that is intended to address underlying problems (http://www.courts.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/cats/courtguide/during_court/diversion_programs.html). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Equal Treatment Benchbook, Supreme Court of Queensland (QLD)
A number of states, including Queensland have an equal treatment benchbook which provide practical information for judges about trial management, supports and aids and useful contacts to support people with disability in court (http://www.courts.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/94054/s-etbb.pdf). Viewed 3 February 2014
Exceptional Needs Unit, South Australia Government (SA)
This unit provides assessment services, accommodation, review of cases and reporting of service gaps for people with complex needs (http://www.sa.gov.au/government/entity/1856/About+us+-+Disability+SA/Disability+SA+-+what+we+do/Exceptional+Needs+Unit). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Find a Friend, Keep a Friend (TAS)
Montagu Community Living run a series of workshops for women with disabilities to build their self-confidence, develop social skills and address abuse (http://www.montagucommunityliving.net.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82:what-we-offer-v15-82&catid=37:offer-v15-37&Itemid=171). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Homeless Personsʼ Legal Service (Vic)
The Homeless Persons’ Legal Service is specialist legal service that provides free legal assistance and advocacy for people who are homeless and charged with minor criminal offences. (http://www.justiceconnect.org.au/our-programs/homeless-law)
Integrated Services Program (ISP) for Clients with Challenging Behaviour, Department of Family and Community Services (NSW)
The ISP coordinates cross-agency responses for adults with complex needs and challenging behaviour. The program includes assessment services, behaviour and therapeutic intervention and supported accommodation (http://www.adhc.nsw.gov.au/about_us/our_structure/clinical_innovation_and_governance). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Interagency Guideline for Addressing Violence, Neglect and Abuse (IGUANA), Office of the Public Advocate Victoria (VIC)
The IGUANA guidelines outlines the steps that an organization needs to take if violence or abuse of a person with disability is reported (http://www.publicadvocate.vic.gov.au/publications/539/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Jaanimili, UnitingCare (NSW)
Jaanimili operates a number of Aboriginal-specific programs for people with disabilities including early start programs and in-home support to assist Aboriginal families at risk of relinquishing the care of their child with a disability(http://www.childrenyoungpeopleandfamilies.org.au/Jaanimili). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Justice Reinvestment Campaign (NSW)
The Aboriginal Reinvestment Campaign aims to reinvest money spent on custodial services into early intervention programs such as education and early supports that address the underlying causes of crime for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (http://justicereinvestmentnow.net.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Life on Track (NSW)
Life on Track is a case management service that will tailor personalized plans for people with disability appearing in court and link them to appropriate supports and services in the community (http://www.lifeontrack.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lifeontrack/index.html). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Making Rights Real Project, Federation of Community Legal Centres (Victoria) and SECASA (South Eastern Centre against Sexual Assault) (VIC)
The project is a pilot program in South Eastern Melbourne to improve access to justice for sexual assault victims with a cognitive impairment or communication difficulties. They provide a range of holistic services and legal assistance to victims for compensation appearing before the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (http://www.fclc.org.au/cb_pages/clr_making_rights_reality.php). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Mental Health Intervention Project (QLD)
A collaboration project between Queensland Police, Health and Ambulance services. Coordinators from these 3 agencies regularly meet to identify mental health issues in the local area, discuss complex cases and develop preventative interventions (http://www.police.qld.gov.au/programs/cscp/mentalHealth/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Mental Health Intervention Team, NSW Police
The Mental Health Intervention Team consists of a clinical team that provide education to police to identify mental health, strategies to communicate with people with psychiatric disabilities, de-escalation and crisis intervention techniques (http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/community_issues/mental_health).
Mental Health Law Centre (WA) Inc
Specialized community legal centre that provides free mental health law advice to people with psychiatric disabilities in Western Australia (http://www.mhlcwa.org.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NT)
The North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency provides culturally proficient Aboriginal legal services to the Top End of the Northern Territory (http://www.naaja.org.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Multiple and Complex Needs Initiative, Department of Human Services (Vic)
The Multiple and Complex Needs Initiative provides case-management and coordination of services such as housing, health and family supports for people with multiple disabilities and complex needs (http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/plans,-programs-and-projects/projects-and-initiatives/cross-departmental-projects-and-initiatives/multiple-and-complex-needs-initiative). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NSW)
The Neighbourhood Justice Centre is Australia’s only community court. A number of different courts sit within the centre along with a “one stop shop” of community services (http://www.neighbourhoodjustice.vic.gov.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Nunga Court (SA)
The Nunga Court is Australia’s first Indigenous Court. It operates as a treatment court where defendants have access to programs which treat drug use, mental impairment and domestic abuse. Elders are present and there is less formality and the defendant and the family are encouraged to attend and speak directly to the Magistrate (http://www.courts.sa.gov.au/Community/Pages/Aboriginal-Programs.aspx). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services (WA)
The Office of the Inspector of Custodial Services is an independent statutory body that answers directly to Parliament and provides external scrutiny of custodial services and thematic reviews of systemic issues in Western Australia (http://www.oics.wa.gov.au/go/home). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Personal Helpers and Mentors Program
Personal support is provided to people recovering from mental illness to develop skills and confidence as well as access services and participate in their community. This program operates in all states and territories (http://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/mental-health/programs-services/personal-helpers-and-mentors/locating-a-personal-helpers-and-mentors-service). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Prisoner Employment Programs - Sentenced to a job, Department of Correctional Services (NT)
The Sentenced to a Job program is a trial running in the Northern Territory where prisoners are sent to work in real jobs in the local community for award wages. The program is only available for prisoners who have been classified low security. Sex offenders are not eligible (http://www.correctionalservices.nt.gov.au/AboutUs/BusinessWithUs/Pages/Prisoner-employment-programs.aspx). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Protocol for Mental Health, Department of Health and Victoria Police (VIC)
Interagency protocol provides guidance to police and clinicians on their respective roles and responsibilities when working together to respond to the needs of people with mental illness (http://www.health.vic.gov.au/mentalhealth/publications/police-mh-protocol0910.pdf). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Queensland Criminal Justice Centre (QLD)
The Queensland Criminal Justice Centre is a web based resource for lawyers working with people with disability who come in contact with QLD criminal justice system (http://www.qcjc.com.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Red Dirt Driving Academy (WA)
This is an Indigenous driving school in the Pilbara region where police can refer Aboriginal people who have committed driving offences for driver training so that they do not lose their licences (http://www.bindirri.com/projects/reddirtdrivingacademy/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Safe at Home Program (TAS)
This program provides therapeutic support and case management for individuals with a disability affected by domestic violence (http://www.safeathome.tas.gov.au/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Safety House (WA)
Safety House WA provides houses in communities across WA where children can go when it is not safe for them to be at home (http://www.safetyhousewa.org.au/about.htm). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Scope Ltd (VIC)
Scope is a not-for-profit organisation providing disability services in Victoria. The organisation provides accessible information services including Easy English resources (http://www.scopevic.org.au/index.php/site/whatweoffer/communicationresourcecentre/accessibleinformation). These resources assist other organisations to develop Easy English information. See NSW Police as an example (http://www.police.nsw.gov.au/community_issues/victims_of_crime/easy_english). Viewed 29 January 2014.
Services Connect, Department of Human Services (Vic)
One-stop shop which brings all the human service such as child protection, public housing, disability and family violence services under a single integrated plan (http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/plans,-programs-and-projects/projects-and-initiatives/cross-departmental-projects-and-initiatives/services-connect). Viewed 3 February 2013.
Sisters Inside Inc. (QLD)
Sisters Inside Inc. is a community organisation that advocates for the human rights of women in the criminal justice system. The organisation works with women in prison to address gaps in the services available to them (http://www.sistersinside.com.au/). Viewed 20 January 2014.
This is a program which provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men with culturally appropriate support including clinical services, health education such as domestic violence education advice and employment opportunities (http://www.wurli.org.au/program-strongbala.htm). Viewed 3 February 2014.
SupportLink is an initiative by Queensland Police which provides an online portal, where police can refer a person with disability to over 200 registered support service agencies for domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse, crime prevention, elder abuse and neglect, victim support and counselling and trauma support (http://www.supportlink.com.au/default.aspx).
Talking Posters (NT)
Talking posters utilize push button technology to provide easily understandable audio explanations on a range of subjects including health, discrimination and human rights in Aboriginal languages (http://www.adc.nt.gov.au/posters/talkingposters.htm). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Tell Someone (VIC)
This is a web and DVD resource for people with intellectual disabilities experiencing family violence (http://www.tellsomeone.org.au/index.html). Viewed 3 February 2014.
The Victorian Government is operating a school within a juvenile detention centre, based on a ground-breaking initiative in the United States. The curriculum is designed to ensure that it does not alienate children with language impairments (http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/about-the-department/news-and-events/news/general-news/new-school-at-parkville-providing-education-opportunities-for-young-people). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Victims of Crime Website, Victorian Department of Justice (VIC)
The Victorian Department of Justice provides a website containing easy-English information for people with disability who are victims of crime (http://www.victimsofcrime.vic.gov.au/utility/for+professionals/easy+english+resources/). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Visual Audio Recorded Evidence (VARE) - Department of Human Services (VIC)
The Visual Audio Recorded Evidence (VARE) advice outlines the legislative procedures and practice requirements regarding visual and audio recorded evidence. This type of evidence can only be given where the person is aged under 18 years and has suffered physical or sexual harm or is a person with a cognitive impairment (http://www.dhs.vic.gov.au/cpmanual/investigation-and-assessment/overview-of-investigation-and-assessment-phase/1178-vate-video-audio-taped-evidence). Viewed 2 February 2014.
Witness Assistance Service (NT)
This service provides support, court preparation assistance, information about the criminal justice system, provision of interpreters, referrals to counselling, legal assistance and assistance with preparing Victim Impact Statements (http://www.nt.gov.au/justice/dpp/html/victim/index.html). Viewed 3 February 2014.
People with a psychiatric or intellectual disability that are homeless can pay their fines through unpaid work with an approved organization as an alternative to jail (http://www.sdro.nsw.gov.au/fines/eo/wdo.php). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Youth Justice Conferencing (NSW)
Juvenile Justice administers youth justice conferences under Part 5 of the Young Offenders Act 1997. Police and courts refer young people for youth justice conferences when they have committed eligible offences that are too serious for warnings or cautions, or they have exceeded the maximum number of cautions available to them (http://www.djj.nsw.gov.au/conferencing.htm). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Young People with Exceptionally Complex Needs (YPECN) Program (WA)
The project coordinates service delivery between government and non-government agencies for young people with complex and multiple disabilities (http://www.dcp.wa.gov.au/Organisation/Documents/YPECN%20DCP.pdf). Viewed 3 February 2014.
Youth on track (NSW)
Youth on Track, an early intervention program with an holistic approach identifies and responds young people at risk of criminal offence or who may already be in the criminal justice system (http://www.youthontrack.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/yot/index.html). Viewed 3 February 2014.