This page is a guide to writing a letter for the court to support people with disability participating in criminal proceedings.
The information on this page is for:
The letter you write will help the court take the person's support needs into account. This might change the sentence that the person with disability serves. It could be the difference between a custodial sentence and staying in the community.
Courts are very busy and magistrates and judges do not have a lot of time. For this reason, it is important that letters to the court are concise and to the point.
Things the letter must communicate:
For more information on what to include in a supporting letter, speak with the client's lawyer or refer to VLA's guide to writing a character reference.
Be mindful that the lawyer may choose not to use the letter. If it is provided to the court, it will be shown to the prosecution and may be discussed in open court.
You may also be asked to attend court to explain the contents of your letter to the magistrate or judge.
Supporting Justice © Centre for Innovative Justice, RMIT University, 2019
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