Intellectual Disability Rights Service - - volunteering with us as a support worker - introduction

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Volunteering with the Criminal Justice Support network (CJSN)

About the CJSN

Collage of a court house, police station sign post and a two men discussing a document.

Criminal Justice Support Network (CJSN) is a service of the Intellectual Disability Rights Service.

The CJSN provides support to people with intellectual disability who are involved in the criminal justice system in New South Wales. CJSN support is provided irrespective of whether the person is a victim, witness or is accused of commiting a crime.

There are two types of CJSN Support:

  • CJSN Court Support - support provided at court and court related processes
  • CJSN Police Station Support - support provided at police stations

CJSN Court Support Volunteers are trained to provide support at:

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

CJSN Court Support is usually done during office hours.

CJSN Police Station Support

CJSN Police Station Support Volunteers are trained to provide support at police stations. If the person is under arrest, CJSN Police Station Support also includes telephone legal advice provided by a trained CJSN volunteer solicitor.

This service operates 9AM to 10PM, 7 days a week with a seperate phone number- 1300 665 908, which can be used by the members of the public, police officers or service providers to try and get a support person and legal advice to help a person with intellectual disability in police custody, or is about to be arrested by the police in NSW.

Volunteer's availability to provide support

  • After training, volunteers are asked to provide areas, times and days they are generally available to provide supports, and volunteers are encouraged to inform CJSN of changes to their availability
  • Availability information is maintained by the CJSN Regional Coordinator each volunteer reports to, and can be updated as frequently as required
  • Volunteers are only contacted according to the availability information they have provided
  • CJSN will give as much notice as possible regarding upcoming supports

Privacy and safety of volunteers

Information about volunteers is not shared or available to clients, service providers or other entities without prior consent of volunteers.

IDRS maintains strict confidentiality policies and procedures; in-house database and file management systems to ensure that information about volunteers remains confidential.

The training provided to volunteers include sectons addressing issues such as safety, when to leave a support etc. to ensure that volunteers are not at risk when providing support.

Please also read work done by volunteers

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