Welcome to the 11th edition of our newsletter. Read on for all the latest CIJ news.

Research with Impact

Restorative Justice Conferencing Pilot Program

The CIJ is currently running the Restorative Justice Conferencing Pilot Program for people affected by a motor vehicle collision where someone was seriously injured or died.

A restorative justice conference is a way for the people most affected by a crime – the person harmed/the victim, their family and friends and the person responsible for the harm/the offender and their family and friends - to talk about:
•    What happened?
•    How were people affected?
•    What can be done in response to the harm?

A restorative justice conference can result in:
•    People most affected by a crime feeling that they have said what they wanted to about what happened;
•    The person harmed/the victim getting answers to questions about the crime or about the person responsible for the harm/the offender;
•    The person responsible for the harm/the offender offering an apology;
•    The person responsible for the harm/the offender making a commitment to carry out actions in response to the harm.  For example, the person might agree to engage in drug and alcohol treatment, or to volunteer to educate others about the dangers of drink driving.

This program supports the person harmed/the victim to talk with the person responsible for the harm/the offender.  The program is available for people affected by serious motor vehicle collisions (where someone has been seriously injured or has died). Referrals are now being taken.  For further information, go to our website here.

Family Violence

Mapping perpetrator pathways and service roles and responsibilities 

Building on the report released in our last newsletter, work is now well underway to map the roles and responsibilities of a range of service sector agencies as they come into contact with perpetrators of family violence. Over the coming months the CIJ will be consulting across criminal justice, social services, universal services and specialist services to build a picture of collective responsibility in which perpetrators of family violence can be kept firmly within view. The work will also include interviews and focus groups with perpetrators to increase understanding about their pathways through the system and the nature of service interactions which can contribute to safety and reduce risk.
ANROWS funded PIPA Project moves into second phase
Having conducted our first public forum and reviewed relevant literature, the PIPA Project (Positive Interventions for Perpetrators of Adolescent violence in the home) is moving into its next phase. This phase will include significant data collection, including through case file audits of a range of agencies, to map and understand the experiences of adolescents who use family violence; and the service response which they receive. In line with the CIJ commitment to offering life-changing experiences for students, this aspect of the project will involve a multi-disciplinary team of social work and law students, working alongside each other to contribute to a stronger evidence base about the intersections of different policy imperatives in this area.

This second phase of the PIPA Project will also include wide ranging focus groups with practitioners around Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia to hear about the pathways which they see adolescents and families taking, and to develop a framework for a better, more considered response. Emerging results from all of this work will be shared at a second public forum, this time in WA, likely to be held in September.
Meta-evaluation gets started
Over the coming months the CIJ will be working with a number of integrated family violence partnerships in different Victorian regions to contribute to a multi-jurisdictional meta-evaluation of perpetrator interventions. The project, which is also funded by ANROWS, is a collaboration with Curtin University, Griffith University, University of NSW and University of Western Sydney. The role of the CIJ is to provide two case studies – one tracking a local region’s response to perpetrators overall, and another tracking a separate region’s approach to outreach and engagement with perpetrators after they first come into contact with police.

The Centre for Innovative Justice held briefing sessions for stakeholders on the WorkSafe Restorative Justice project. This included an overview of the scope of the project and some early themes identified in Phase 1 of the project, as well as details on the proposed approach for consultation as part of Phases 2 and 3 of this project. You can fine further information on this project here.
Coronial Council Appeals Review

CIJ’s submission to the Coronial Council Appeals Review has been well received and we’ve since met with representatives of the Council to discuss the recommendations in our submission.


What a map, what a map, what a mighty big (complex) map!
A ‘journey map’ of Victoria’s toll infringement system has been developed and unveiled as part of a collaborative approach led by the CIJ and the legal assistance sector to redesign the toll infringements system. The map is the first time the system has been ‘visualised’ from beginning to end. Two workshops have been held bringing together stakeholders from all parts of the system from toll operators to the Magistrates Court. 
Working on completing journey map of the toll fines system
The workshops are working to a ‘design thinking’ brief to redesign the system for all road users so that:
•    High levels of compliance are maintained;
•    There is early intervention so that people in genuine hardship don’t get caught in a spiral of fines/debt and ultimately a criminal record or prison;
•    Pressure is taken off our courts and justice system so that resources can be more effectively deployed to areas such as family violence;
•    It is consistent with government values and the desire of toll operators to ensure that ‘time is better spent’ and that transport truly ‘strengthens communities’.
The map, which was developed in conjunction with design-thinking company Sheda, will now be updated following the workshop feedback and be made available for printing and distribution to stimulate further discussion, debate and problem solving.
Design Thinking and the Law

The CIJ’s first Design Thinking and the Law workshop will be taking place in Shepparton on July 20/21. The two-day workshop is being delivered in collaboration with Court Services Victoria by award-winning design thinking educators and researchers: RMIT’s Professor Ingo Karpen and Patrick Sharbaugh, a Senior Program Director with the LUMA Institute, a global leader in design thinking instruction. 

The program has been tailored to the needs of participants through consultation with the courts and legal assistance sectors. It will introduce participants to the basic principles, processes, and practices of design thinking, and then bring their ideas and creativity to bear on some of the key challenges facing our courts and tribunals. The new court complex at Shepparton will provide the backdrop and the opportunity to think about some key issues, such as: how might we re-imagine how legal services are delivered and experienced?; how might our courts and tribunals be less of a place and more of a service?; how might different courts and tribunals align to provide a seamless justice service?, and how might we avoid ‘fossilising’ old and out-dated legal processes and practices in a layer of new technology?

Student Opportunities

Fastracking to Access to Justice  
Victoria Legal Aid, the Federation of Community Legal Centres and the CIJ have partnered with RMIT’s Fastrack Innovation Program for the third year to bring together some of RMIT’s brightest minds to tackle a set of some complex, large-scale challenges to improve access to justice for those most in need. Twenty-four students from a range of disciplines will work with mentors from the legal assistance sector, business and the University on four key challenges over the next 13 weeks. This year’s challenges are:

Fitzroy Legal Service
•    How might we improve the effectiveness of the FLS volunteer night service, so that meaningful services can be provided to as many in need as possible?
Duty Lawyer services
•    How might we improve the efficiency and effectiveness of duty lawyer services, so that clients can receive the information they need, at the right time, and in an accessible and understandable format?
Acquired Brain Injury
•    How might we ensure that people with ABI receive the information and support they need, to move through and comply with the Community Corrections Order process?
Family Violence registry
•    How might we improve the co-ordination of people, services and cases across family violence matters in the Magistrates Court, to both improve efficiency and effectiveness of court processes, and ensure safety of victims at all times?

CIJ would like to thank all of those involved in identifying and shaping the challenges and agreeing to mentor and support these talented students.
CIJ Fastrack Mentors Anna Howard and Jess Richter
Multidisciplinary Practice Update
The Multidisciplinary Practice (MDP) team is consolidating its first year with the next intake of social work students on their Field Education placements. The first round of social work students saw nine people complete a cumulative total of 4,500 placement hours. This was a mix of both Field Education 1 (clinical work) and Field Education 2 (project/research based work) placements, across both the Centre for Innovative Justice (CIJ) and the Mental Health Legal Centre (MHLC).
Over June/July, six social work students have started their placements at MHLC and CIJ.
  • Two students are placed at MHLC to support the clinical social work element across programs such as the Inside Access prison support program; the telephone advice Night Service; and Mental Health Tribunal Hearings.
  • Two students are placed at MHLC to support new research into Advance Statements – a document that sets out a person’s mental health treatment preferences in the event they become unwell. Students will be looking at people’s experiences of developing an Advance Statement and what impact it had on their psychiatric care and assisting in the academic writing of this paper.
  • Two students will also be placed at CIJ to support the PIPA Project, feeding into important research into adolescent violence in the family home (AVITH). Social work students will be on placement with two JD students, providing valuable legal and social work insights into families who experience AVITH. 
Social work placements are 500 hours, so we very much look forward to working with these students over the coming months.

Talking Innovative Justice

Podcasts are now available for our most recent events and appearances. To listen, click on the event name link below.
Justice: Past, Present, Future 

Listen to Barrister Brian Bourke and Magistrate Pauline Spencer share their first hand experience of the Australian justice system, past and present and their vision for the future.
A Federal Charter of Human Rights: Would it make any difference?

A blog by the student authors of the Human Rights report is also available here.
Drug Law Reform Panel Discussion
CIJ’s Stan Winford was part of a panel discussion on drug law reform at the Wheeler Centre in May. You can also read Stan's reflective piece on this issue is here.
Keep an eye out for these up and coming CIJ events
  • ABI Report Launch – 24 August
  • Challenging Sexual Offending: Myths and Misconceptions with Victoria Police – 14 September
  • Health Justice Conference – 30 & 31 October CIJ is partnering with Health Justice Australia for their National Conference. To find out about the program and to register go here.
  • Youth Justice Conference – 1 November
CIJ in the media

CIJ out and about

20 July   – JD 10th Anniversary celebration
26 July   – Metropolitan Law Talks – Speaker: Rob Hulls
07 Aug   – Court Integrated Services Program (CISP) 10th Anniversary – Speaker: Rob Hulls

09-11 Aug  – National Association of Community Legal Centres Conference – Speaker: Kat Ogilvie
07 Sep    – Victims of Crimes Conference – Speaker: Rob Hulls and Nareeda Lewers
20 Sep    – WA PIPA Forum

26-27 Sep  – NTCOSS Conference, Darwin – Theme: turning practice on its head – Speaker: Rob Hulls
12-14 Nov  – Injury & Disability Schemes Seminar – Speakers: Stan Winford and Mary Polis
15-16 Nov  – NASASV Conference: What About Sexual Violence? Where To From Here? – Speaker:  Rob Hulls
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