QLDGovt

QLD STATE BUDGET: Murri Court & other diversionary programs reinstated

It is great to see the State Government honour its election commitment to reinstate courts such as the Murri Court and Special circumstances Court diversion programs.

The reinstatement of these successful diversionary programs is a feature of the Government’s boost to spending on the justice system in the 2015-16 State Budget.

Diversionary courts like the Murri, Special Circumstances and the Drug courts are key examples of smarter approaches to justice that focus on rehabilitating offenders, reducing the rate of crime and creating considerable long-term cost savings for the community.

In a climate where the state’s justice system is grappling with a record prison population, the decision to reinstate effective alternatives to incarceration is a win for common sense and the most vulnerable members in the community.

Read the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath’s media statement here:

http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2015/7/14/court-programs-to-address-crime-reinstated

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STAFF ACHIEVEMENT: Congratulations Renee Taylor

This week the brilliant Renee Taylor from our Beenleigh office shared the fantastic news that she has been accepted into a LLB degree program.

After completing an Associate Degree in Law (Paralegal) last year, Renee is now shooting for the stars and will pursue a Bachelor of Laws.

We wish Renee all the very best with her future studies and the exciting career path ahead, wherever it may take her – from Legal Secretary, to Solicitor, to Barrister & beyond!

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MEDIA RELEASE: Smarter justice needed in the former ‘Smart State’

Date: Wednesday, 3rd June 2015

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (ATSILS) is calling on the Palaszczuk Government to show leadership and champion change by adopting a justice reinvestment approach to address the state’s incarceration crisis. The call comes in the wake of Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) figures that reveal more people in Queensland are living behind bars than ever before.

Shane Duffy, Chief Executive Officer of ATSILS, said “we would welcome an opportunity to engage with the government to discuss long term solutions to the crisis based on intervention, prevention and diversion strategies which form the basis of a Justice Reinvestment approach.”

The QCS figures show a 20% surge in the state’s prison numbers in just two years, and confirms the state’s prison population is the highest on record at more than 7200. All 12 of the state’s high security facilities are currently operating at beyond capacity and serious overcrowding has seen a doubling in the rate of reported assaults.

A considerable factor in the crisis is the gross over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Queensland prisons. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people currently make up less than 4% of the state’s population, however account for nearly a third of the state’s inmates. Various governments tough on crime policies have disproportionately affected the most disadvantaged in the community and have put a strain on our prison system at great public expense.

With such high Indigenous representation in the crisis, ATSILS urges the government to work in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, communities, services and their representatives, to develop and implement justice reinvestment solutions.

Mr Duffy said “coming from a deficit position the government can no longer invest in costly, unsustainable prison infrastructure at the expense of affordable housing, education, mental health and social services that are vital to the fabric of thriving safe communities.”

Justice reinvestment is an approach that has had success in the USA and fundamental to the approach is investment in community services that tackle the underlying root causes of crime. Justice reinvestment makes a very strong economic argument to better utilise tax payer funds. Currently there is a pilot scheme happening in Bourke, NSW and ATSILS hope to see the Justice Reinvestment approach adopted in communities across Queensland.

The current crisis presents a great opportunity for the new government to charter a course of innovative change and localise justice reinvestment approaches specific to the challenges we face in Queensland.

Media Contact:   Joshua Herd0439 561 775 or joshua.herd@atsils.org.au

Downlaod/Print Media Release [PDF]

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JOB VACANCIES – We have 6 positions available in 5 locations across the state – Brisbane – Charleville – Ipswich – Murgon – Townsville

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (QLD) Ltd is seeking candidates for 5 new positions  in our Brisbane, Charleville, Murgon and Townsville offices.

Build a career in a legal environment & strengthen your actions in social justice for our people. 

View our Job Vacancies page for more information including position descriptions and details on how to apply.

 

1. COURT SUPPORT OFFICERMurgon – full-time, applications close Wednesday 3rd June 2015 at 1pm to careers@atsils.org.au 
Identified role – must be Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander candidate – we claim exemption under the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Act, section 104. You must also have a keen interest in law clerk and court duties, current Driver Licence and meet other criteria. Please see the position description for selection criteria.PositionDescription_CourtSupportOfficer_Regional_Remote_022_0515

 

2.  LEGAL PRACTITIONER – Townsville – full-time, applications close Monday 9th June 2015 at 1pm to careers@atsils.org.au 
You must a current Driver Licence and meet other criteria. Please see the position description for selection criteria.PositionDescription_LegalPractitioner_CriminalLaw_009_0515

 

3. LEGAL PRACTITIONER – Charleville – full-time, applications close Monday 9th June 2015 at 1pm to careers@atsils.org.au 
You must a current Driver Licence and meet other criteria. Please see the position description for selection criteria.PositionDescription_LegalPractitioner_CriminalLaw_009_0515

 

4.  LEGAL PRACTITIONER – Ipswich– full-time, applications close Wednesday  10th June 2015 at 1pm to careers@atsils.org.au 

This is a newly funded role. Please see the position description for selection criteria. PositionDescription_LegalPractitioner_CriminalLaw_009_0515

 

5. ADMINISTRATION ASSISTANT (Finance & Personnel) – Brisbane head office – part-time, (Wednesday, Thursday & Friday all day). Applications close Tuesday 9th June 2015 at 1pm to careers@atsils.org.au 

Minimum Certificate III in Business Administration qualification or five years in a business or accounting environment.   Please see the position description for selection criteria.PositionDescription_AdminAssistFinancePersonnel_041_0615_ATSILS

 

6. CLIENT SERVICES CO-ORDINATOR (Reception & Administration)Brisbane head office – full-time. Applications close Tuesday 9th June 2015 at 1pm to careers@atsils.org.au 
Minimum Certificate III in Business Administration qualification and at least two (2) years experience in professional services.   Please see the position description for selection criteria.  PositionDescription_ClientServicesCoordinator_033_0615_ATSILSPlease note that this role is not open to trainees or those without experience and qualifications.

 

View our Job Vacancies page for more information including position descriptions and details on how to apply.

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MEDIA RELEASE – NATSILS Funding Secured

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The Federal Attorney-General’s Department yesterday announced it will reverse its decision and restored funding to NATSILS. As a member organisation we welcome the responsible step by the Government to restore funding to our national peak body. Given the country faces a national crisis with the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people going to jail, it is crucial that NATSILS is in place and can operate with certainty in providing strategic advice to all levels of government.

NATSILS is a vital organisation in the legal assistance sector and brings together over forty years of expertise in providing quality frontline legal services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

NATSILS MEDIA RELEASE: 
Read full Media Release here:
http://www.natsils.org.au/portals/natsils/Media%20Release%20-%20NATSILS%20funding%20secured%20FINAL.pdf

 

In the MEDIA:

ABC Radio
Listen to ATSILS CEO and NATSILS Chairman Shane Duffy Speak to ABC Radio’s AM Program about the last minute funding reprieve by the Federal Government.
http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2015/s4230373.htm

ABC Online

Budget 2015: Indigenous legal services peak body to receive $295,000 funding in last-minute reprieve

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-06/indigenous-legal-services-organisation-to-have-funding-restored/6448148

 

First Nations Telegraph 

 

 

 

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Prisoner Throughcare Program: aiming to reduce recidivism & incarceration rates

Reducing recidivism & incarceration rates by supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners.

This week the ATSILS’ Prisoner Throughcare staff  are meeting with staff from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and a team from Harvard University. The team from Harvard are conducting research into the effectiveness of Prisoner Throughcare services and will be visiting our Brisbane, Ipswich and Townsville offices.

Prisoner Throughcare Services

 Photo (L to R): Gregory Shadbolt (Principal Legal Officer – ATSILS), Gerald Warner (Senior Prisoner Throughcare Officer – ATSILS), Bec (Harvard University), Catherine Marks (Prime Minister & Cabinet) & Michael (Harvard University)

 

More information on ATSILS’ Prisoner Throughcare Program