Innovative justice interventions: The Centre for Innovative Justice team discuss their current work

Ms Nareeda Lewers1, Adjunct Professor  Rob Hulls1, Ms Elena Campbell1, Mr Stan Winford1, Ms Jessica  Richter1, Ms Anna Howard1, Ms Tallace  Bissett1
1Centre For Innovative Justice, RMIT University , Melbourne , Australia

The CIJ is a research and reform body attached to RMIT University. The CIJ’s objective is to develop, drive and expand the capacity of the justice system to meet and adapt to the needs of its diverse users. The CIJ meets this objective by conducting rigorous research which focuses on having impact – taking our research findings, most of which involve direct engagement with service users, and using them to develop innovative and workable solutions.

In this roundtable the CIJ will share insights from its current projects, which include interventions with perpetrators of family violence, including adolescents who use violence in the home; the experience of people with acquired brain injury in the criminal justice system; and restorative justice practices responding to serious crime in the adult jurisdiction.  The CIJ will invite participants in the roundtable to engage in a robust discussion of the issues that emerge from this work.


Biography:

Nareeda coordinates the CIJ’s Restorative Justice Conferencing Pilot Program.  Nareeda is an experienced criminal lawyer who has worked extensively in solution-focused courts.  She has a research background in family law.

Rob [roundtable chair] was a Victorian Attorney-General from 1999 to 2010. As Attorney he introduced a series of innovative reforms to the justice system that focussed on therapeutic jurisprudence and restorative justice, including the Neighbourhood Justice Centre, the Drug Court, the Assessment and Referral Court, Koori Courts and specialist family violence courts.

Elena is a policy lawyer and writer, with a background in social justice reform. She was the author of the report on family violence Opportunities for Early Intervention; Bringing Perpetrators of family violence into view.

Stan is a practising lawyer who is particularly interested in exploring how the justice system can have a positive impact on people’s lives through restorative and therapeutic approaches to justice, as well as the development of justice systems designed and informed by the experiences of those who use them.

Jessica is an experienced criminal lawyer who has worked largely with people with cognitive impairments.  Jessica’s research interests include the experience of people with disabilities in the justice system, and adolescent violence in the home.

Anna coordinates the Enabling Justice Project and oversees student placement opportunities through the CIJ. Anna has a background as a lawyer with a social justice focus spanning native title, personal injury and community law.

Tallace is an experienced criminal lawyer. Tallace is also an accomplished legal and social science researcher, currently completing a Doctoral degree examining the policing of young African men in Victoria.

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