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

Women Transforming Justice – Final Evaluation Report released!

December 2020 marks 10 years since the UN adopted the Bangkok Rules - recognition that women in contact with the criminal justice system require gender-specific, non-custodial responses. Our evaluation of the Women Transforming Justice project shows the value of gender specific approaches to addressing unacceptable rises in women's incarceration in Victoria. Look out for more in 2021 around this vital issue.

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Media

Criminal record reform to provide more opportunities for rehabilitation

After years of consultation, lobbying, research and engagement, Victoria is about to become the last state in Australia to have its own spent convictions’ legislation.

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Blog

Building a more ‘victim-led’ system means asking victims of crime what they want – Part One

In this two-part series, we share key findings from research conducted by the Centre for Innovative Justice in 2019, which involved in-depth interviews with 37 victims of crime across Victoria to understand what they wanted and needed from the victim services system, and whether it was meeting their expectations. We encountered a diverse range of needs and circumstances, as well as surprising insights into how we can improve support for people who have experienced crime.

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Students

Social Work and Juris Doctor student 2020 reflections

Despite ongoing COVID restrictions, placements for RMIT Social Work and Juris Doctor students have continued throughout 2020, albeit from home. Social work student, Anushia Andrews, recently completed her placement at the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women and Juris Doctor student, Katrina Harte, recently completed a placement at the Young Workers Centre. Read their reflections on the challenges they faced and the innovative ways of adapting to undertaking a remote placement.

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Blog

Behind closed doors – families experiencing adolescent violence must be remembered in the recovery effort

The use of family violence by children and young people has been a concern for some time. The Royal Commission into Family Violence dedicated specific recommendations to it, while growing research - including the PIPA project - points to the complexities across families experiencing this challenge.

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Blog

Spent Convictions Bill 2020 in Parliament

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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White Butterfly
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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