The ACJP Program is a volunteer-based community initiative supporting communities and individuals needing assistance in justice or legal related matters. The Panels take a diversionary approach in supporting preventative initiatives for community and individual participation as well as providing direct support through a ‘Call-Out’ service to individuals held in Police custody.
The primary roles of the ACJP Panels include:
- liaising with legal and welfare agencies to assist in the delivery of services to Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system;
- assisting to minimise contact of Aboriginal persons with the criminal justice system by working with the police and other agencies on appropriate diversionary programs; and
- assisting police in assuring the safety of Aboriginal persons in custody.
There are currently twelve ACJPs across Victoria in the following localities:
- Swan Hill/Robinvale
- Northern Metropolitan
Although the initial contact point when Aboriginal people are arrested continues to remain a vital focus, ACJPs have been involved in a range of other activities including:
- Follow-up support with families and persons who may have contact with Police;
- School holiday program support, positive alcohol, drug and violence free children’s activities;
- Crisis and emergency/welfare relief;
- Support for drug and alcohol-free sporting events including football, netball, and basketball; and
- Attending various community justice related meetings including: LAJAC, IFVRAG, LAECG, Aboriginal Health and Well-Being, Drug and Alcohol, Corrections, Sheriffs’ and Police.