Rob Hulls and Stan Winford were invited to present at the IIRP Canada Conference in Toronto in May on our groundbreaking restorative justice engagement project in relation to workplace injuries. This project undertaken in conjunction with Worksafe Victoria is looking at the journey of injured workers through the workers compensation scheme and how restorative interventions can improve outcomes for injured workers and all those with a stake in the scheme.
Whilst on that side of the world, they travelled to New York and visited the Center for Court Innovation as well as the Red Hook Community Justice Centre where a number of meetings took place with a view to setting up an exciting and innovative study tour for JD students in 2019. Listen here to a podcast Rob recorded with CCI's Deputy Director of Treatment Court Program, Annie Schacher, and the Senior Advisory for Problem-Solving Justice, Brett Taylor.
Stan, Greg Berman, Rob, Annie Schachar, Julius Lang, Center Court Innovation
Rob and Stan wilth Brett Taylor, Senior Advisor Problem Solving Justice, Red Hook Community Justice Centre
Research with Impact
Restorative Justice Conferencing Pilot Program: reflections from participants
The CIJ is currently running the Restorative Justice Conferencing Pilot Program, which offers people affected by serious motor vehicle collision offences (usually the victim and the offender) to be supported to meet each other in a safe, supported process.
Our experience so far has been that people who choose to take part in the Program find doing so extremely meaningful. In a recent conference conducted under the Pilot Program Lindi, a woman whose brother had been killed in a collision, met with Hayden, the man responsible for what happened. Reflecting on the conference, Lindi said:
I was surprised at how personally rewarding it was. The offender was so frank and open and did take responsibility willingly. I felt that I was able to 'give back’ to him - not by ‘forgiveness’ but by letting him know that I had a stake in his future.
Hayden said that he was willing to participate because he wanted to:
…look Lindi in the eyes and say sorry. I know that will never bring him back. I also wanted to show her that I'm learning from my stuff ups and once out of jail I would like to prove to her that I will stay on the right track…The most important thing was that I had a shot to talk to Lindi face to face, to tell her I'm not a cold hearted person and if there was anything she would like me to do for her brother I would do it…[Lindi] made me feel like a person and did not talk down to me… as soon as I saw Lindi face to face, she made me feel welcomed and let me open up a little and talk about my background. I thank Lindi for that.
The CIJ’s Restorative Justice Conferencing Pilot Program will continue until September 2018, and will then be evaluated. At this point the Program is still accepting referrals. Contact Nareeda Lewers at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Lindi Wall and Nareeda Lewers at the 2018 Reintegration Puzzle Conference
PIPA around Australia
How time flies when you’re examining a really interesting issue! Unbelievably, the PIPA Project(Positive Intervention for Perpetrators of Adolescent Violence) is reaching its final stages, and April saw the third and final public forum staged by the PIPA project, this time in beautiful Hobart. Kindly hosted by the University of Tasmania, one of our project partners, the forum canvassed the different legislative regime in Tasmania and the resulting opportunities for response and support to the challenges that families experience when their adolescent is using violence. You can find a link to a podcast of the forum here. Further interviews with practitioners were also conducted during the CIJ’s visit.
In May, Elena Campbell then attended the second national ANROWS Conference – Acting on Evidence – in sunny Sydney. As well as hearing a fantastic array of incredibly interesting presentations, Elena was able to share some of the preliminary findings from the PIPA project in a session focused on prevention and response to young people in the context of gendered violence. Elena was delighted to share the session with an amazing team based at Griffith University who are conducting a research project examining the value of peer-led mentoring and education to prevent violence against women.
Elena Campbell speaking at the ANROWS conference in Sydney
In May the PIPA Project also held further workshops with Victorian practitioners to test the Victorian findings of the project - exploring gaps and opportunities in more detail and examining the extent to which the findings resonated with those working in the field. We’re delighted to report that the feedback was incredibly positive and our hope is that a visit to Perth in July to test the WA findings will be met with a similar response. Work with the Steering Committee and Project Partners will then contribute to a draft report submitted to ANROWS later in the year.
Perpetrator Intervention Systems Research
Also progressing are two case studies supporting the ANROWS funded ‘meta-evaluation’ of perpetrator intervention systems around Australia. The project has received great interest and engagement from practitioners, with focus groups being conducted across the relevant study areas – being Bayside Peninsula and Southern Melbourne, regions which include local government areas with the highest family violence police callouts in Victoria. Amidst the incredibly hard work of services in this area, preliminary findings suggest that the gaps in services directly working with perpetrators can contribute to the risk that family members face. In addition to this work, Elena Campbell from the CIJ has also been working with the broader project team, led by Curtin University, on the wider mapping work which will ultimately make a huge contribution to evolving understanding about the importance of building strong perpetrator intervention systems.
Counselling Order Review
As if there weren’t enough research activity occurring, the CIJ team has completed its interviews and focus groups in the first phase of work reviewing the Magistrates’ Court’s Counselling Order programs. This phase has focussed on those directly working with the program, being Magistrates, court staff and service providers delivering Men’s Behaviour Change Programs across four locations in Victoria. A further phase of work in the second half of the year will test findings and interim recommendations with wider stakeholders before the development of a single, best practice program model to recommend to the court.
Kids at Court
Also wrapping up is the fieldwork on the Court Support for Kids Needs Assessment and Evaluation. Research has included interviews with court staff, legal practitioners and service providers, as well as directly with women who have experience of applying for Family Violence Intervention Orders while their children come with them to court. This work is pointing to significant gaps in the system, as well as the huge benefit of providing appropriate support to vulnerable children and highly stressed mothers while they attend and wait at such a difficult and often ill-suited environment. In a small way, this research is another example of how systems need to be designed for the benefit of their end users. Look out for release of the final report on this research later this year.
Perpetrator Service Mapping wins a Good Design Award!
CIJ and ThinkPlace have won an 2018 Good Design Award for our perpetrator service mapping visual design. The judges said of the design: It's not easy to bring together complex data into a way that makes the gaps quickly visible. Interesting approach! The illustration is original and communicates a welcoming spirit".
You can view the maps here.
Engaging RMIT’s Senior Leadership in Restorative Justice
RMIT’s Vice Chancellor has publicly committed to the establishment of a restorative engagement program to respond to historical cases of sexual assault and harassment at RMIT University. In an Australian first, the CIJ have collaborated with RMIT's Student Wellbeing and Inclusion Group to develop a proposal for such a program. As part of this proposal, the CIJ recently facilitated a restorative justice training session for the VC and his senior leadership group. We are excited about this very important project and the feedback from the training session has overwhelmingly enthusiastic.
Vice Chancellor’s Senior Executive team at the restorative engagement program workshop
Semester 2 Taster Placements –
With Semester 2 fast approaching, check out our flyer here for all the fantastic student opportunities facilitated by the CIJ and how to apply. Applications should be addressed to Anna Howard, Student Program Coordinator at email@example.com
Student Reflections –
Fair Work Commission Taster Placement "As an OUA student, a large slice of my time is spent wondering how the skills I learn at home in front of my computer will transfer to the real world. Without the sounding board of other students and professionals, it can be difficult to gauge how the theory will translate to practice. This placement showed how the concepts discussed in textbooks come to life in the real world, and how real people’s lives are affected, sometimes drastically, by the legal system we study. Of particular interest was the implementation of dispute resolution practices by the Fair Work Commission...Watching a seasoned practitioner implement the techniques discussed in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution was incredibly valuable.
I would recommend this placement to anyone looking to gain valuable experience in an interesting and important area of the law".
- Liam Malby
Alexander Baird and Loren Ferrell were also Fair Work Commission interns in semester one.
Court of Appeal Check out the feedback received from RMIT JD students who recently undertook the Court of Appeal Taster Placement. The students were fortunate to observe three high-profile appeals, including the United Firefighters Union appeal against the VEOHRC; a culpable driving appeal brought by the DPP and the Bauer Media's appeal against Rebel Wilson's defamation win.
2018 Melbourne Study Tour Update –
Applications have closed, interviews taken place and offers accepted for our Innovative Justice Study Tour 2018 in Melbourne. The Study Tour, taking place in the week commencing Monday 16 July, offers students a chance to participate in a week long, immersive tour of Melbourne’s solution focused courts, including the Assessment and Referral Court, the Neighbourhood Justice Centre, the Drug Court and the Koori Court. Students will hear from Magistrates, senior justice system professionals and people with lived experience of the criminal justice system.
Passion with Purpose
Julia Gillard on Passion, Politics and Power
We are now taking registrations for our event with Julia Gillard in August. To register and to find out more details, go here.
27 Jun – Vic Legal Services Board project - Frankston. Speaker: Rob Hulls 15 Aug – Cross Sectoral Partnership Forum (CommUnity Plus). Speaker: Rob Hulls TBC Sep – Brotherhood of St Laurence: Human Rights Charter. Speaker: Rob Hulls 27 Oct – Uniting Church Social Justice Convention. Speaker: Rob Hulls