About Supporting Justice

A female wearing a big jacket standing facing away from the reader.

Recognition, respect and support

The Supporting Justice website has been designed to provide practical resources to support people in the criminal justice system. It is focused on getting fairer outcomes and needs-based support to people with autism spectrum disorder, cognitive impairment, intellectual disability and dual disability.

The Supporting Justice website builds on the 2017 Enabling Justice project, which was done in partnership between the Centre for Innovative Justice at RMIT University and the Jesuit Social Services with people with ABI and lived experience of the criminal justice system. The Enabling Justice project found that fragmented and inconsistent responses throughout the criminal justice system and broader environment mean that the needs of people with a disability are rarely recognised or responded to appropriately.

The design and development of the resources on the Supporting Justice website uses human centred design. Supporting Justice aims to ensure people with disability continue to have their human rights upheld if they have involvement with the justice system and do not experience discrimination regarding the determination of least restrictive interventions. 

Questions or feedback?

contact@supportingjustice.net

 

Questions or feedback?

contact@supportingjustice.net

 

Who helped to make Supporting Justice?

  • People with lived experience of disability and justice involvement
  • Lawyers
  • Judicial officers
  • Court and community-based support workers
  • Disability support workers
  • Health practitioners
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations
  • The Centre for Innovative Justice
  • Paper Giant (strategic design partner)

Who is Supporting Justice for?

Supporting Justice is primarily for lawyers, judicial officers and court professionals. It aims to help them learn how to recognise the signs of disability, gain an understanding of the criminal justice system experience of people with disability, and have evidence-based knowledge and capability-building training to draw upon.

Lawyers, judicial officers and court professionals can use Supporting Justice to:

  • learn respectful and effective communication with people with disability
  • know how to refer people with disability to supports and services available within the criminal justice system or to external services that are responsive to the needs of people with disability and justice involvement
  • learn about the NDIS and the supports available through it
  • be aware of and advocate for the use of the least restrictive interventions for people with disability in the criminal justice system.

Supporting Justice is also for people with disability and their supporters. It provides information on where to get timely and appropriate support in criminal justice settings, how to find out what their rights are, and supports them to be empowered in their interactions with legal and court professionals. 

People with disability, their workers and supporters can use Supporting Justice to:

  • know what they can expect or ask of legal and court professionals
  • know why they should share certain information about themselves with lawyers (to increase their likelihood of less restrictive options being applied and improving their justice outcomes)
  • be aware of the support services and therapeutic sentencing options in the Victorian criminal justice system.

Supporting Justice is also flexible for use by other criminal justice sector workers  including Police, Corrections and social workers.

Resources can be adapted for use in training, or professional development to help those working with people with disability to:

  • learn how to recognise the signs of disability
  • respectfully and effectively communicate with people with disability
  • know how to refer people with disability to supports and services available within the criminal justice system or to external services that are responsive to the needs of people with disability and justice involvement.

What’s next for the Supporting Justice project?

The CIJ's Supporting Justice project is involved in a further phase of work to reduce the overrepresentation of peopl ewith disability in the criminal justice system. 

The next phase of work involves a collaboration with people with disability and lived experience of the criminal justice system and the criminal justice, health and social service sectors to explore opportunities to improve the criminal justice system in Victoria. The project is mapping the criminal justice and support systems through consultation and engagement with these groups to identify points of intervention to facilitate positive, sustainable change. For more background information read the CIJ Supporting Justice project page.

Further reading on disability

Recognising the signs of disability

Models of disability

Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU), How We Talk About Disability Matters!: Understanding Models of Disability

Acquiring Brain Injury (ABI)

arbias – support services for people with ABI

BrainLink – Victorian-based service that provides services and information for family and supporters of ABI

Enabling Justice report (2017) – the Enabling Justice project conducted by the Centre for Innovative Justice (CIJ) and Jesuit Social Services explored and identified ways to address the over-incarceration of people with an ABI

Synapse – a brain injury advocacy and support organisation who have created publications and factsheets to support people with ABI

Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service – rights information and resources for people with ABI in the Victorian criminal justice system

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Amaze – ASD assessment and diagnosis information

Aspect (Autism Spectrum Australia) – ASD service provider with resources and information

Dual disability

Intellectual disability mental health e-learning – learning modules to upskill workers supporting individuals with dual disability

Victorian Dual Disability Service – provides services and information for people with Dual Disability in Victoria

Intellectual disability (ID)

Centre for Developmental Disability Health (CDDH) – training resources for workers supporting clients with intellectual disability

Inclusion Australia – a national advocacy organisation for people with ID

Intellectual Disability Rights Legal Service (NSW) – rights information and resources for people who have a disability

Scope – disability service provider and advocacy organisation. Produces resource, including handbooks to support decision-making in legal contexts for people with disability

Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALID) – Victorian peak body for people with intellectual disability. VALID have resources for people with disability and their supporters on accessing the NDIS and communication guides

Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service – rights information and resources for people who have an intellectual disability in the Victorian criminal justice system

Effective communication with people with disability

Australian Network on Disability – disability factsheets

Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU) – resources to support effective communication with people with a disability

Procedural Justice – involving individuals in the justice process to improve outcomes

Scope Australia (disability service provider) – handbooks to support decision-making in legal contexts for people with a disability

The Advocate's Gateway - resources for legal practitioners and judicial officers on questioning vulnerable witnesses

Trauma-informed Care and Practice Organisational Toolkit (TICPOT)

Trauma and the Law: Applying Trauma-Informed Practice to Legal and Judicial Contexts

VALID and Inclusion Melbourne - Support for Justice Guide

Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service – reports on working with people with disability in the criminal justice system

Navigating the NDIS

Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU) – guides to the NDIS review and internal appeals flowchart

Scope – factsheets and explainers about the different entry points for NDIS participants

The Illusion of Choice and Control – this 2018 report by the Office of the Public Advocate illustrates the challenges for clients with complex needs presented by the roll-out of the NDIS

Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALID) – resources produced for people with intellectual disability and their supporters, including Get NDIS Savvy videos

Further reading on disability and justice

Recognising the signs of disability

Models of disability

Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU), How We Talk About Disability Matters!: Understanding Models of Disability

Acquiring Brain Injury (ABI)

arbias – support services for people with ABI

BrainLink – Victorian-based service that provides services and information for family and supporters of ABI

Enabling Justice report (2017) – the Enabling Justice project conducted by the Centre for Innovative Justice (CIJ) and Jesuit Social Services explored and identified ways to address the over-incarceration of people with an ABI

Synapse – a brain injury advocacy and support organisation who have created publications and factsheets to support people with ABI

Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service – rights information and resources for people with ABI in the Victorian criminal justice system

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Amaze – ASD assessment and diagnosis information

Aspect (Autism Spectrum Australia) – ASD service provider with resources and information

Dual disability

Intellectual disability mental health e-learning – learning modules to upskill workers supporting individuals with dual disability

Victorian Dual Disability Service – provides services and information for people with Dual Disability in Victoria

Intellectual disability (ID)

Centre for Developmental Disability Health (CDDH) – training resources for workers supporting clients with intellectual disability

Inclusion Australia – a national advocacy organisation for people with an ID

Intellectual Disability Rights Legal Service (NSW) – rights information and resources for people who have a disability

Scope – disability service provider and advocacy organisation. Produces resource, including handbooks to support decision-making in legal contexts for people with a disability

Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALID) – Victorian peak body for people with an intellectual disability. VALID have resources for people with disability and their supporters on accessing the NDIS and communication guides.

Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service – rights information and resources for people who have an intellectual disability in the Victorian criminal justice system

Effective communication with people with disability

Australian Network on Disability – disability factsheets

Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU) – resources to support effective communication with people with a disability

Procedural Justice – involving individuals in the justice process to improve outcomes

Scope Australia (disability service provider) – handbooks to support decision-making in legal contexts for people with a disability

Trauma-informed Care and Practice Organisational Toolkit (TICPOT)

Trauma and the Law: Applying Trauma-Informed Practice to Legal and Judicial Contexts

Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service – reports on working with people with disability in the criminal justice system

Navigating the NDIS

Scope – factsheets and explainers about the different entry points for NDIS participants

Victorian Advocacy League for Individuals with Disability (VALID) – resources produced for people with intellectual disability and their supporters, including ‘Get NDIS Savvy’ videos

Disability Advocacy Resource Unit (DARU) – guides to the NDIS review and internal appeals flowchart

Supporting Justice

Supporting Justice © Centre for Innovative Justice, RMIT University, 2019

Questions or feedback: contact@supportingjustice.net

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners on whose land we meet, share and work. We pay our respects to Elders past and present, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from all nations of this land.