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Aboriginal Legal Service Impact

ALSWA is committed to promoting the legal rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by providing Community Legal Education (CLE) in Perth and the Washington State region. ALSWA welcomes requests for opportunities to participate in CLE`s activities. This service is operated by ALSWA`s Perth-based Community Engagement Unit. ALSWA plays an active role in advocating for and expressing the complex issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples within the justice system. ALSWA services are widely promoted to ensure that community members have easy access to important legal information. This includes advertising on ALSWA`s website, Facebook page, radio show and other networks. ALSWA thanks the Commonwealth Department of the Attorney General (for funding legal services), the National Indigenous Australians Agency (for CNS) and the WA Department of Justice (for CNS, BSS/PIR, WDP Service and YEP). If you or a loved one has a disability and has been abused, you have the opportunity to tell your story at the Royal Commission on The Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of Persons with Disabilities. ALSWA can help you through this process and provide free and independent legal support. Contact ALSWA for this service on 08 9265 6693. The objective of this program is to reduce avoidable remand by providing eligible clients with faster access to bail by providing bail assistance and legal services within reach of prisons, and by assisting accused persons to comply with bail conditions and obligations. The BSS/PIR operates in Perth for clients who appear before the Perth Magistrates` Court. A BSS will start in Broome from the end of 2020 for clients appearing before the Broome and Derby Magistrates` Court.

ALSWA strives to provide a culturally safe legal service and informs the courts about cultural cases and obligations, language and communication issues, and customary law as needed. Lawyers and bailiffs from ALSWA`s Perth Criminal Law Unit and each of ALSWA`s regional offices provide a full range of criminal services to clients in the Magistrates` Court, Juvenile Court, District Court and Supreme Court. ALSWA helps family members reach an agreement that best suits the child (if) without going to family court (if possible), and can provide referrals to mediation services. ALSWA`s professional and culturally appropriate service model, which takes a human rights-based approach, ensures that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel comfortable accessing the service, which has won a national human rights award. The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service (NATSILS) expressed concern over the government`s decision not to provide additional funding for mutual legal assistance services, saying the election continues to anchor Indigenous peoples in the justice system, disrupts efforts to achieve the “Closing the Gap” goal and downplays the national crisis of deaths in custody. Washington State Police call the SNC and speak to a SNC attorney and/or support staff member, who then conduct a thorough welfare check and provide legal advice to the detainee (if applicable). The goal of the CNS is to reduce the number of preventable deaths in custody and achieve better justice outcomes for the Indigenous community of the AO. The Civil and Human Rights Law Unit empowers the Indigenous community through culturally sound legal advice and representation: “More funding and job creation for ATSILS means Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have access to culturally safe legal support when and where they need it, which supports our communities and reduces the excessive imprisonment of our people. A conflict of interest may arise when ALSWA is acting or has acted on behalf of another person involved in a legal matter.

For example, there is usually a conflict of interest if a client is accused of an attack on their partner and ALSWA is already working for the partner in a child protection case. In this case, ALSWA will attempt to refer the customer to another legal provider. Without better funding, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS) will struggle to fully participate in Coronial investigations, which will continue to impact communities and families who have lost loved ones. ALSWA plays a critical role within the WA justice system, working collaboratively and in partnership with communities and key governmental and non-governmental partners to correct legal policies and practices that negatively and disproportionately impact the legal and human rights of WA First Peoples. This telephone service is for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Washington State who are being held by Washington State Police in a police centre. The CNS started its activities in October 2019 and operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Lawyers for the judiciary have criticized the federal government for the lack of funding for Indigenous legal services in the 2021-2022 budget, despite the fact that the number of indigenous peoples` detentions is increasing. Staff in the Civil and Human Rights Law Unit are based in Perth, but provide a national service that includes regular outreach trips to the regions. ALSWA supports parents or family members when child protection comes into play. This may be the case if parental controls are trying to remove a child or have already removed a child from a family. ALSWA may represent parents or family in a children`s court if child protection requires the court to issue a protection order for a child, or may assist with prenatal meetings if child protection is considering how to protect the baby.

Since 2010, ALSWA has produced and presented the bi-monthly radio show “Law Matters”, which is broadcast through Perth`s Noongar 100.9FM radio station and the National Indigenous Radio Service (NIRS). Click here to listen to archived programming broadcast between 2010 and 2020 ALSWA remains indebted to the tireless work of the Judicial Committee of New Era Aboriginal Fellowship Inc during this time. Bail Support Service (BSS) and Bail Program (IREP). Advice and representation is provided for all types of court cases, including detention centres, bail applications, sentencing hearings, innocence pleadings, jury trials and appeals. Support may also be provided in cases relating to the upbringing of children by the family court if capacity permits. “There is no funding in the budget to address the mass incarceration of First Nations peoples through the creation of a national justice reinvestment body (although this is an important recommendation) and no way to help states and territories raise the age to keep elementary school-age children out of police and prison cells,” said Axleby. Change the Record co-chair Cheryl Axleby said it was “shameful” that there was “no Commonwealth government plan to address the crisis of black deaths in custody.” Clients with special or complex needs have priority, especially those whose situations prevent them from representing themselves and where injustice or injustice to them would result in us not having helped. Racial discrimination (including complaints about open discrimination based on race and the use of racial slurs) NATSILS noted that, although they support the creation of the National Partnership for Justice Policy, no funding has been announced to enable or support the success of the partnership. Prisoners` rights (including complaints and/or civil actions related to serious incidents of ill-treatment and discrimination) “Given the alarming rates of over-incarceration and deaths of Aboriginal people in custody, it is more important than ever that ATSILS is properly equipped and accessible across Australia,” said Priscilla Atkins, President of NATSILS. False incarceration (including requests for illegal detention by police and prisons) Police liability (including civil complaints and/or claims, including bodily injury) ALSWA, the Department of Justice and Legal Aid WA, works in partnership to manage the WDP program, which was created to help people who have difficulty paying court sentences due to difficult cases. As part of a WDP, an eligible customer may engage in approved activities under the supervision of a sponsor to reduce or even pay the amount due.

ALSWA`s WDP service can support customers by connecting them to an approved sponsor and advising them on the status of their outstanding fines. Community organizations interested in supporting the program can also request support and advice from WDP. ALSWA`s Youth Engagement Program Diversion Officers can help youth appearing in Perth Juvenile Court by providing support and referrals so that youth can follow court orders and improve their well-being. Types of supports include housing, education and training, substance abuse, health, family issues, Centrelink and ID, transportation, and support for appointments related to juvenile justice.