Increased access to integrated legal services also has a critical role to play in improving the accessibility, effectiveness and fairness of the criminal justice system.
Many Victorians who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness require intensive, client-centred and multi-disciplinary support. In this context, service models need to be responsive to the range of different social, health, financial and other needs presented by people experiencing homelessness.
That’s why Justice Connect has developed an integrated practice model with a specialist criminal lawyer and social worker, recognising that diverting people away from the justice system requires wrap-around legal, social, health and education-based responses.
For people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, having an ongoing social worker assisting them with their justice system interactions can reduce the emergence of new legal issues and increase the potential for positive and sustainable outcomes for community members.