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BETTER COURTS 2015 JUDICIAL LEADERSHIP COURT SUPPORT SERVICES IN VICTORIA: THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE Jelena Popovic Deputy Chief magistrate Victoria,

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Presentation on theme: "BETTER COURTS 2015 JUDICIAL LEADERSHIP COURT SUPPORT SERVICES IN VICTORIA: THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE Jelena Popovic Deputy Chief magistrate Victoria,"— Presentation transcript:

1 BETTER COURTS 2015 JUDICIAL LEADERSHIP COURT SUPPORT SERVICES IN VICTORIA: THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE Jelena Popovic Deputy Chief magistrate Victoria, Australia

2 Criminal Jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria Property crime – up to $40,000 for a single charge Sexual offences excluding penetrative offences Injury offences excluding gross violence Imprisonment of up to 2 years for a single charge, to a maximum aggregation of 5 years No limit on fines

3 POTTED HISTORY OF SUPPORT SERVICES IN VICTORIA Salvation Army provided support to most courts, comforting court users and providing some material aid Early 90’s – mental health liaison nurses attached to two courts. Now expanded throughout state under two schemes Mid 90’s – Youth Justice provided in court support and Bail Supervision scheme (on- going) Mid 90’s – Statewide Disability Support worker

4 POTTED HISTORY 2 Late 90’s – Court Referred Evaluation & Drug Intervention & Treatment Program Early 2000’s – added Bail component (at request of Corrections department to reduce number of remandees) Early 2000’s – Criminal Justice Diversion 2002 – Koori Courts commenced 2002 – Drug Court commenced 2004 – Street Sex worker list Mid – CISP (Court Integrated Services Program) – integrated existing supports and added brokerage, housing,

5 Potted history – Assessment and Referral Court (Mental Health Court) pilot commenced Pilot extended in 2012 for 3 years. Evaluation almost complete for funding bid this year CISP in 3 locations – new court at Shepparton has CISP component built in. CROP – CISP Remand Outreach Program – brings CISP assessments into remand prisons. Pilot Commenced January announcement to expand CISP to additional 4 locations (2 country, one suburban) as part of Family Violence Response over 4 years

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7 LEADERSHIP Commitment to social justice, preparedness to think laterally, courage to endeavour, ability to galvanise those around them, responsiveness to community, tenacity & patience. Long hours, countless meetings. Ability to write policy.

8 GARNERING BI –PARTISAN SUPPORT ELECTION CYCLES IN VICTORIA ARE EVERY FOUR YEARS IMPORTANT FOR LONGEVITY OF ANY PROGRAM TO ENSURE BI-PARTISAN SUPPORT KOORI COURT & MENTAL HEALTH COURT BACKED BY BOTH GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION BOTH ATTORNEY-GENERAL AND OPPOSTION ATTORNEY-GENERAL CONSULTED, AS WELL AS OTHER RELEVANT MINISTERS, AND ALL INVITED AND RECOGNISED AT LAUNCHES. ALWAYS KEPT IN THE LOOP

9 LABOR PARTY PLATFORM, VICTORIAN ELECTION 2014 Problem Solving Courts Under the former Labor Government, Neighbourhood Justice Centres, Court Integrated Service Programs, Koori Courts, the drug court, and the sex-worker list were all introduced. The Coalition slammed many of these initiatives while in Opposition but have embraced them in Government. Because they know they work. Often the criminal justice system is the first point of contact between an offender and the State and therefore it is an opportunity to connect that person into the services they need to address the reason why they offended in the first place. Labor will: Build on the positive lessons learned through innovative courts and lists and seek to integrate the successes through the broader court system (at page 64)

10 SUPPORT OF MY CHIEF(S) Support services attached to the court commenced before we knew about therapeutic jurisprudence. Once they started in the early 90’s, the then Chief Magistrate named them “parallel services” as they ran parallel to the sentencing process. Both subsequent Chief Magistrates have supported the implementation and expansion of services. The current Chief Magistrate is committed to expansion to ensure access by all who require them. I can’t keep up with his agenda and drive!

11 COLLABORATION WITH COLLEAGUES MY BIGGEST MISTAKE WAS TO FORGE AHEAD WITHOUT COLLABORATING. I’D MAKE ANNOUNCEMENTS, BUT MANY OF MY COLLEAGUES DIDN’T SHAR THE VISION NOW LAWYERS APPLY TO BE MAGISTRATES BECAUSE OF THE THERAPEUTIC, PROBLEM- SOLVING FOCUS RECENT EXAMPLE: I CONVENED A GROUP WHICH PREPARED THE ISSUES PAPER IN ADVANCE OF A STRATEGIC PLANNING MEETING WHICH INFORMED THE COURTS’ STRATEGIC PLAN GET TOGETHER THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST, EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT CONVINCED – BY THE END OF THE PROCESS, THEY BECOME GREAT ADVOCATES.

12 WORKING WITH COURT ADMINISTRATORS Within the appropriate boundaries, there needs to be close collaboration with your court’s administrators. Programs cannot succeed if they do not operate within a court’s capabilities and are not seen as important by those who operate the court. In the end, it is the Administrators who can make it happen. Must ensure that the administrators understand and share the vision

13 Working with Public Service As our support services and specialist Courts commenced, developed and expanded, considerable resources were required. Government was making a significant investment in the programs. A division was set up in the Justice Department, inter alia, to oversee programs, evaluations, expansions, consider new programs and initiatives. It has been crucial to work effectively with public servants to ensure that they understand the programs and understand the needs of the court. We now work with several different government agencies, such as the Premiers’ Department and Treasury to ensure that the court’s initiatives have the best chances to obtain/retain/expand funding.

14 STAKEHOLDERS Regular meetings and consultations held with stakeholders from all sectors, for example: -Court administrators -Public servants - all relevant ministries -Solicitors (eg legal aid, bar) -Local government -Community lobby groups -Police -prosecutions

15 MAGISTRATES’ COURT OF VICTORIA’S STRATEGIC PLAN Administrators and Chief Magistrate have recognised that Court Support Services are an integral component of the Court’s core business Inclusion for future planning for court support services is the culmination of years of work

16 Examples of what we are working towards: KOORI COURT AT MELBOURNE MAGISTRATES’ COURT Worked with community to set up a court at Melbourne within existing budget. Commenced August 2014.Driven by court, community and police prosecutors.

17 BEGGING DIVERSION Request made to Melbourne Magistrates’ Court to implement an alternative process for dealing with beggars in the CBD. Court suggested that the Criminal Justice Diversion provisions be utilised and a process was adopted. Collaborative project with Salvation Army, City of Melbourne, PILCH, VPOL.

18 DUI COURT Driving while intoxicated Suspended licence Court Still in planning phase – anticipated pilot at one Magistrates’ Court (Frankston) utilising ‘Judicial Monitoring’ component of Community Corrections Order

19 Due to economic downturn, change of thinking in Victoria Started with – “build it and they will come, mentality, then moved to if it is not funded, don’t do it, it will never be funded”, now “find the money somehow, commence program with an evaluation process in-built, build evidence base, then ask for money”

20 IMPORTANCE OF BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS WITH UNIVERSITIES: AUSTRALIAN CENTRE FOR COURT INNOVATION, RMIT, MONASH, AUSTRALIAN CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY

21 DON’T EVER NEVER GIVE UP!

22 DOCUMENTS FOR DISTRIBUTION CISP evaluation 2009 Drug Court Evaluation December 2014 Extract from Magistrates’ Court of Victoria Annual report – ‘Specialist Courts & Services” Issues paper in preparation of strategic planning Strategic Plan TOR Consultative & Steering Committees For Specialist Courts & Court Support Services De-identified CISP reports Response to family violence summary These slides


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