Posted May 26, 2023
The report finds that there is a critical need for improved visibility of people with disability within the criminal justice system and for greater transparency of outcomes in relation to programs designed to support their re-entry (including housing outcomes). Many of the programs designed to support people leaving correctional facilities have a limited evidence base and focus on recidivism to the exclusion of other related factors, such as housing and access to services that support people with disability to live independently in the community. Likewise, many supportive housing programs have not been evaluated for justice-involved people with disability.
Posted May 18, 2023
Victoria is lagging other countries by effectively excluding people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have low vision from serving on juries. The state’s law reform commission is calling for an overhaul of the justice system to enable juries to be inclusive, a change it said was “well overdue”, in a report tabled in parliament on Tuesday.
Posted May 18, 2023
Jury duty is an important civic duty associated with active citizenship. Barriers to jury service in current law and practice are out of touch with community expectations, laws and policies about non-discrimination and the inclusion of people with disabilities in public life. This report recommends ways to remove barriers from current law and practice that prevent people who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind or have low vision from serving on juries.
Posted May 12, 2023
In 2021, Equality Lawyers and Picture Human Rights joined forces to create Disability Rights in Real Life, a law handbook for people with disabilities, their families and supporters. Disability Rights in Real Life aims to provide the disability community with information on their rights and to know when they might need a disability rights lawyer. … Continued
Posted May 12, 2023
Closing date: May 26, 2023
Victoria Police Portfolio Reference Groups provide advice, expertise, and feedback to assist Victoria Police in their engagement with diverse communities. Expressions of interest are now being taken for new members to join the Disability Portfolio Reference Group. Members should have a high level of knowledge of issues affecting people with disability and a willingness to … Continued
Posted April 14, 2023
While many Australians go to great lengths to avoid serving on a jury, Brent Phillips has spent nearly a decade fighting for his right to take part in his civic duty. In 2014, he was selected for jury duty in his home state of Victoria. “I was quite excited to be honest, I have a legal background, and I have qualifications in criminology,” he said. But once the courts found out Mr Phillips was deaf he was excluded from service, even though he wanted to participate.
Posted March 24, 2023
This report lays bare the failures of Victoria’s criminal justice system in a comprehensive assessment that reveals “jailing is failing”. It is increasingly clear that in Victoria, the growth in the adult imprisonment rate has not been driven by severity of offending or crime, but rather by systemic failings, and policy and legislative choices, that have resulted in people being funnelled unnecessarily into imprisonment. In particular, this includes those denied bail and awaiting sentencing and those denied parole.
Posted March 16, 2023
People with disabilities in the criminal justice system feel like they exist in a “black hole” after an international torture prevention body cancelled a visit to Australia. “We’re locking them up and throwing away the key … their behaviour is misinterpreted as wilful defiance or criminal intention but it’s often just the product of their disability.”
Posted December 10, 2021
A woman with cerebral palsy was sexually assaulted in a public park after her disability accommodation provider refused to let her meet her date in her own home, the disability royal commission has heard.
Posted October 19, 2021
There hasn’t been nearly enough work done to fix the criminal justice system for people with disability, according to an advocate who knows first-hand how traumatic prison can be for those in the disability community.
Posted September 28, 2021
The report finds that often, police responses to people with disability – whether they are witnesses, victims or alleged offenders – are not adequate. This is because policing is the ‘default’ response to people with disability who experience disadvantage, like homelessness, poverty or violence, while there is less and less funding for other social and human services. The recommendations promote community based, culturally safe and trauma informed programs that divert people away from the criminal justice system if they into trouble, like the Cognitive Impairment Diversion Program
Posted August 2, 2021
Ms Smith’s death sparked numerous investigations and reviews, including by police, the state government and the NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission. The NDIS Commission’s independent investigation led to 10 recommendations, including that vulnerable NDIS participants should have multiple carers.
Posted July 31, 2021
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is extending the NDIS Fraud Taskforce to crack down on dodgy providers and ensure participants get the supports they need. Minister for the NDIS, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC today announced the Taskforce will be extended indefinitely to protect the integrity of the Scheme and the participants it supports.
Posted July 8, 2021
A Victorian man has been sentenced to jail for rorting the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) of more than $300,000 by billing the provider for fake lawn mowing services.
Posted July 2, 2021
Commuters who use wheelchairs are taking legal action against the Victorian government and Melbourne’s tram operator over their failure to keep pace with federal standards for accessible public transport.