News + Views

The CIJ advocates for a better justice system through a range of forums including media articles, opinion pieces, speeches and our blog. To request media comment, please contact RMIT Central Communications on +61 439 704 077.

Blog

Vic Attorney-General Jill Hennessey introduces Spent Convictions Bill 2020

Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessey introduced the Spent Convictions Bill 2020 into the Victorian Parliament in October, and it is likely to be debated in the coming weeks. If passed, this legislation will bring Victoria in line with other Australian jurisdictions and will remove some of the obstacles to people’s successful rehabilitation.

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Blog

Restorative justice in forensic mental health settings – report by student Eliza Hew

Historically, people with serious mental illness have not been included in restorative justice practices, with exclusion hinging on the assumption that this population do not have the capacity to meaningfully participate. More recently however, literature suggests that this assumption is unsubstantiated (and discriminatory); there exist significant potential benefits for patients, staff, victims and the broader community.

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Students

Open Circle internship – my experience

This piece is written by Juris Doctor & Masters of Social Work student, Eliza Hew, about her experience undertaking an online internship at CIJ's Open Circle.

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Media

Uncle Michael “Mookeye” Bell shares his thoughts on Victoria’s Spent Convictions Bill

CIJ's Michael Bell talks with Connection Matters Radio about Victoria's new Spent Convictions Bill

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Media

Victoria introduces spent convictions bill to parliament

CIJ's Stan Winford talks with The Wire's Steven Riggall about Victoria's new Spent Convictions Bill

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Blog

Restorative justice can enhance the rights of people with a disability living in group homes

The justice system can on the one hand fail to recognise serious victimisation as criminal offending when experienced by people with disability, while being unable to imagine alternatives to the criminal justice system in responding to complexity.

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Students

Social Work students reflect on their remote placements at the MHLC

Despite ongoing COVID restrictions, social work field education placements have continued for many social work students in semester 2, 2020, albeit from home. The Mental Health Legal Centre (MHLC) is fortunate to have two Field Education 2 final year Master of Social Work students currently on placement. The students, Madeleine Grigg and Irene Dao, are completing a project-based placement researching integrated practice, with a particular focus on social work support in community legal settings. 

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Blog

SupportingJustice.net wins Gold in the Good Design Awards ‘Social Impact’ category!

This week we’re excited to confirm that the SupportingJustice.net online resource has been recognised with an Australian Good Design Gold Award in the social impact category.  

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Blog

Finding my voice and sharing my lived experience

A call for lived experience to inform criminal justice system reform

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Media

To achieve racial justice, we must self-determine meaningfully

The global spread of the Black Lives Matter movement, triggered by the murder of George Floyd, has forced the Australian mainstream to reckon with the immense scale of Indigenous incarceration and deaths in custody and has created new momentum for change.

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News

Reducing barriers to employment for Aboriginal people: Rethinking the Role of Criminal Record Checks Project  

This is a Victorian Legal Services Board funded project being carried out by RMIT University in partnership with Woor-Dungin. We are excited to announce that we will soon be welcoming new partners, Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (VACCHO) and Winda Mara Aboriginal Corporation to contribute to the project.

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News

Himilo Community Connect pilot

Banyule has one of Australia’s largest Somali communities. In the 2016 Census, there were 1091 Banyule residents with Somali ancestry. In 2016, consultations were undertaken with the Heidelberg West Somali community to identify the challenges they faced. The consultations revealed that an increasing number of Somali young people from the Heidelberg area are coming into contact with the justice system.

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Students

The CIJ’s Student Program and adapting to COVID19

For Semester 2, the CIJ has been working closely with our community legal centre partners LACW, Young Workers Centre and Youthlaw to offer ten online internship opportunities to RMIT Juris Doctor students.

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News

Improved accountability: The role of perpetrator intervention systems

The CIJ was thrilled to see the long awaited release of ANROWS funded research into the role of perpetrator intervention systems. This major edited collection – led by Professor Donna Chung from Curtin University – was a collaboration between researchers from multiple universities in different jurisdictions around Australia. This included a number of chapters co-authored by CIJ Associate Director, Elena Campbell, and will serve as a substantial contribution to the growing evidence base concerning perpetrator interventions. 

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Media

Curfew must involve a plan for those who have no choice but to be out

Few question the necessity of the move to stage four restrictions in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases, as tough as the coming six weeks (or longer) are likely to be.

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Media

Australian prisons

According to statistics crime rates are falling in Australia but then why are more and more people getting locked up? How do we keep our community safe and prevent people from going to jail?

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Media

Human rights under lockdown

The past week has seen Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews taking, what he calls, "extraordinary steps" to enforce at-home restrictions to try and contain the coronavirus, especially for people living in high rise public housing towers. But how far can governments go in a public health emergency before impeding on a person's individual rights and freedoms? And does access to those rights depend on where someone lives?

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Media

Lockdown returns: how far can coronavirus measures go before they infringe on human rights?

As of this morning, ten “hot spot” postcodes in Melbourne’s suburbs have gone back into Stage 3 coronavirus lockdown.

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Blog

Financial counselling for women in the criminal justice system – a crucial ingredient in a multidisciplinary, positive intervention

The CIJ has just concluded its ground breaking pilot delivering financial counselling services to women in Dame Phyllis Frost Centre.

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Media

Restorative Justice and Aboriginal-led Decision Making

In a week dominated by stories of the Black Lives Matter protests in the US and closer to home protests against Aboriginal deaths in custody and the overincarceration of our First Nations people, we look at promising Aboriginal-led decision-making processes that are helping protect culture and keep Aboriginal people safer through the justice system in Victoria. We're talking restorative justice, and we're also talking about a beautiful possum cloak that's keeping culture real and present in the children's court.

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Blog

Responding restoratively to Covid -19?

Although we are still confronted daily with the immediate consequences of Covid-19, at Open Circle we are beginning to turn our minds to the future. What will our daily life, work and relationships look like when this pandemic is over, and how can we respond with a restorative lens?

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Media

Removing barriers to Aboriginal employment

RMIT researchers have partnered with Aboriginal organisations on a new project to tackle barriers to employment for Aboriginal people.

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Blog

Answering your questions about restorative justice and how it can complement the justice system

The Centre for Innovative Justice recently held a live webinar during Law Week in May 2020. The webinar features Centre for Innovative Justice and Open Circle staff Renee Handsaker, Anna Howard and Stan Winford discussing restorative justice and how it can complement the justice system.

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Blog

Answering your questions about disability in the justice system

The Centre for Innovative Justice recently held two events focusing on the experience of people with disability in the criminal justice system, and their capacity to lead change.

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