Support at court for people with intellectual disability involved in criminal matters, provided by the Criminal Justice Support Network (CJSN), a program of the Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS)

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CJSN support at court and court related processes

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Who is eligible?

Support is provided to people with intellectual disability involved in any type of criminal matter (including AVO matters).

We provide support for victims, witnesses and defendants.

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How we can help

The Criminal Justice Support Network have a network of trained volunteers who can:

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  • call the client prior to court to check whether they have made arrangements to get to court
  • meet with the client prior to court to explain what to expect in a way the client can understand
  • attend appointments with the client's solicitor to assist communication
  • be at court with the client, and wait with them until the case is called
  • liase with court staff on behalf of the client or help the client do it themselves
  • help to arrange any adjustments the clients might need in court
  • assist the client to understand the outcome and any implications flowing from the outcomes

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Where we provide support

Collage of a court house and loegal meetings.

Support is provided at:

  • court
  • meetings with solicitors
  • youth justice conferences
  • adult conferences
  • mediation
  • forum sentencing

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Areas covered by the Criminal Justice Support Network

For referrals

Sydney office
(02) 9318 0144

Hunter office
(02) 4926 5643

Illawarra / Shoalhaven, Goulburn, Batemans Bay regional office
(02) 4228 4040

All other areas of NSW
1800 666 611

Support at police stations
1300 665 908

The Criminal Justice Support Network has offices in Sydney, Hunter and Illawarra/Shoalhaven.

The areas covered by the Sydney office (based in Redfern):

  • Sydney metropoliton area (including Hornsby, Richmond, Penrith, Camden, Campbelltown and the Sutherland Shire)
  • Blue Mountains

The areas covered by the Hunter office (based in Newcastle):

  • Newcastle and surrounding areas (including Maitland, Cessnock and Toronto)
  • Taree

The areas covered by the Illawarra/Shoalhaven office (based in Wollongong):

  • Wollongong and surrounding areas (including Thirroul and Kiama)
  • Nowra
  • Batemans Bay
  • Goulburn

Areas covered by CJSN Outreach

  • Central Coast - areas around Gosford, Woy Woy, The Entrance and Wyong
  • Central West - areas around Bathurst, Orange, Mudgee, Dubbo and Parkes
  • Mid North Coast - areas around Port Macquarie and Kempsey
  • Riverina - areas around Wagga Wagga

CJSN Outreach service can provide referrals to regional areas of NSW when support is required outside of the areas listed above.

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So you have to go to court!

Video cover image of So You Have To Goto Court

This resource kit was produced by the Diversity Services of Department of Justice and Attorney General.

It includes a 25-minute video “So you have to go to court”

The resource kit has been developed for people with cognitive disabilities.

Please click on the link to access the resource - So you have to go to court! (Links to external resource)

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