News + Views

Women Transforming Justice & Women’s Decarceration Agenda

As part of our new research agenda on women's decarceration, the CIJ will conduct an evaluation of the Women Transforming Justice project.

The CIJ has been asked to conduct an evaluation of the Women Transforming Justice project (‘WTJ’). This crucial project is funded by the Legal Services Board and over the next 12 months, will provide gender-informed legal assistance specifically to women seeking bail and then follow up case management and other support to women either while they are in custody or in the community.

WTJ is a collaboration between Darebin Community Legal Centre, the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women (LACW) and Flat Out, and recognises the very particular needs of a growing cohort within our community: women on remand – as well as the disproportionate impacts that recent bail and other legislative reforms have had on women and their children.

The CIJ’s evaluation over the life of the project will assess its implementation, the specific needs of women on remand and the extent to which the service is meeting these needs, as well as early outcomes. Importantly, the evaluation will also measure to the extent possible how the project is raising awareness of these needs within the legal system and prompting a shift towards a more evidence-based, gender-informed approach.

Staff movements

The WTJ evaluation will form an initial part of the CIJ’s Women’s Decarceration research agenda, with other priority areas to be announced early in 2019. To this end, the CIJ is delighted to announce that our fabulous Social Worker, Kat Ogilvie, will be helping to coordinate this agenda throughout 2019, while also being seconded to the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women to provide its Social Work support to clients in other areas. This will include bringing Social Work students into the LACW mix. This new role, along with an additional lawyer employed by LACW, have been funded by a grant from the Federation of Community Legal Centres and we are looking forward to the great results they will achieve for clients and students alike.

In 2019 the CIJ will also be welcoming two new Research and Advocacy roles into the mix – stay posted for further announcements!