Neighbourhood justice centre visit

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Course: CHC50608: Diploma of COMMUNITY SERVICES WORK
Unit/s of Competence: CS502A: Maintain legal and ethical work practices
Assessment Item: Neighbourhood Justice Centre Visit: Questions and Answers
Elements: Essential knowledge and skills; Elements: 1.1-1.4, 2.1-2.5, 3.1-3.5, 4.1-4.5
Work Limit: 1000 words
Teacher: Roz HanrattyNeighbourhood Justice Centre Visit

7th April 2011

1. Described the Neighbourhood Justice Centre

* Layout
The Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) is located in Collingwood, in inner Melbourne´s City of Yarra.The NJC building has three floors, the grand floor which has three meeting rooms, mediation, information and two bathrooms. The first floor is the home of the courtroom, waiting areas, registry offices and a few more of the many glazed meeting rooms sprinkled through the centre. The elongated waiting area was hardly being used when I was there. One reason it might befailing is the direct view into the courtroom through a glazed airlock. A courtroom can’t help being intimidating, and even my nerves jangled looking through to a court in session. We opened the doors into the room, catching everyone’s eye on the way. But it’s better than entering through solid closed doors. It’s an informal court, encouraging people to drift in and out as they please.The bench is at room level, except for one step up to the magistrate’s chair. There was a lot of talk during briefing about having just one step instead of the usual three. Magistrate David Fanning’s slight elevation is barely noticeable.
The second floor has six meeting rooms and a conference room.
The Indigenous Wurundjeri people occupied the locality before Europeansettlers arrived in the nineteenth century, and Wurundjeri descendants are still living in Collingwood today. On the walls of the NJC you can see the work of artists from the local community. This is a unique exhibition space for artists to display their work and learn about the NJC.
The NJC has 3 flags at the entrance:
* Australian flag.
* Aboriginal flag: it wasdesigned by Harold Thomas, a Luritja man from Central Australia. It was created as a symbol of unity and national identity for Aboriginal people during the land rights movements of the early 1970’s.
* The Torres Straitn Islander Flag was created as a symbol of unity and identity for Torres Straitn Islander peoples, designed by Bernard Narnok, then a 15 year old school student from ThursdayIsland.

* Function
The Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) works with local Yarra residents and organisations to help prevent and reduce crime, improve safety and increase confidence in and access to the justice system.
The Neighbourhood Justice Centre combines a court with a variety of treatment and support services such as mediation, legal, advice, employment andhousing support, counselling and mental health services.
* Where does it sit within the court hierarchy
The court of the NJC is different in that it is multi-jurisdictional and sits as a Magistrates Court, a Children’s Court (Criminal Division), Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
* Described theaims of the NJC
The NJC works closely with the City of Yarra community to:
* Address the underlying causes of offending
* Provide opportunity, education and support for victims, witnesses, defendants and local residents
* Assist in preventing crime
* Stop the 'revolving door' of crime and punishment
* Increase the community's involvement in the administration of...
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