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June 7, 2018

QUEENSLAND DRUG AND ALCOHOL COURTS 2.0

Last week Insight held a webinar about the return of drug and alcohol courts to Queensland. The webinar was presented by James Hoey - Team Leader, Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court Health Team, Metro South Addiction Services, and provides an overview of the new system and implications for clients. Queensland Drug and Specialists Court Review in November 2016 recommended the return of specialist drug and alcohol courts. The drug court focuses on addressing the underlying problems or causes that lead to a person committing crimes.


Watch James Hoey presenting "The Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court Version 2.0"

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April 6, 2018

NEW SERVICE TO HELP PROTECT COUNSELLING RECORDS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS

The Counselling Notes Protect (CNP) is a new free legal service delivered by Legal Aid Queensland and the Women's Legal Service.  The service has been developed under new legislation which protects the counselling records of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence for court proceedings that commenced on or after 1st December 2017. The legal protection covers notes made by sexual assault counsellors, domestic violence counsellors or support services, healthcare professionals, psychologists and doctors. Under the new legislation, these records are protected from being available during a court case, unless the victim or the court gives permission for records to be produced.

For more information, visit theLegal Aid website or contact Legal Aid Queensland on 1300 267 762.

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February 9, 2018

QUEENSLAND DRUG AND ALCOHOL COURT LAUNCHES

Following a review of the Drug and Specialist Courts system, the Drug and Alcohol Court has been reinstated in Queensland. The Penalties and Sentences (Drug and Alcohol Treatment Orders) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 has been passed, enabling a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order to be included into Queensland's existing sentencing framework. The Drug and Alcohol Court was launched on the 29th January 2018. The Court aims to provides an intensive and targeted response to adult offenders with severe drug and alcohol use directly associated with their offending and facilitate access to treatment. The Drug and Alcohol Court is currently operating in Brisbane, and decisions around expansion to regional centres is not likely to take place until 2023, after the court has been evaluated.

 

Find out more about the Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court here.

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January 19, 2018

YOUTH DETENTION POPULATION IN AUSTRALIA 2017

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) "Youth Detention Population in Australia 2017" bulletin reports on rates of young people aged 10 and over in youth detention over a 4 year period from 2013-2017. On an average night during the reporting period more than 950 young people were in detention. Over half (53%) of those in detention identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. This level of Indigenous over-representation can be expressed as a rate ratio; there were 37 Indigenous young people per 10 000 in detention on an average night compared with 1.5 per 10 000 non-Indigenous people, therefore as a national average Indigenous young people aged 10-17 were 24 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be in detention. Excluding Victoria, 64% of young people in detention on an average night in the June quarter 2017 were unsentenced. The state of Queensland had the second largest rates of young people in detention after New South Wales. 

 

Read the full report here.

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October 20, 2017

WHAT EVERY WORKER SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AOD AND THE LAW

Penny Williams is a Principal Lawyer with Legal Aid Queensland and recently presented an informative webinar about "AOD and the Law" as part of the Insight webinar series. Penny covers the important, practical things every AOD worker should know about the law and legal processes in respect to AOD, in order to best assist your clients.

Watch Penny's presentation here.

The Legal Aid Queensland website also has easy to understand legal information on drug related laws which can be viewed here.

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July 28, 2017

POLICE POWERS: YOUR RIGHTS

The Caxton Legal Centre produce a guide titled "Police Powers: Your rights."  The guide provides a plain English overview of police powers, including when being questioned by police or being given a direction by police, rights while being arrested, police searches, various offenses and penalties, and more.  The guide was updated in October 2016, and laws can change frequently, so the guide also contains contact information for community legal centres from across Queensland, as well as specific services such as the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Download "Police Powers: Your Rights" (775 KB PDF)

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June 9, 2017

DOVETAIL GOOD PRACTICE GUIDE: LEGAL AND ETHICAL DIMENSIONS OF PRACTICE - BACK IN STOCK

Back in 2012, Dovetail released our second good practice guide  "Legal and Ethical Dimensions of Practice".  The guide has been very popular, and we ran out of print copies some time ago.  We've been lucky enough to re-print the guide, and we have free hardopies in stock now.  The guide covers issues such as consent, Gillick Competence, confidentiality as well as issues relating to the various ethical dilemmas which can arise through our work with young people experiencing alcohol and other drug concerns.  Further good practice guides are in the pipeline so stay tuned.  Queensland based workers can order hard copies of the guide free of charge by emailing info@dovetail.org.au or you can download an electronic copy here.

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May 12, 2017

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN CANNABIS IS LEGALISED?

There are a number of places around that world that have either legalised cannabis, or are in the process of legalising.  But what happens after legalisation? The Volteface drug policy website has recently published an article titled "Let's learn from the mistakes of drug reform pioneers."  The article provides an overview of a recent edition of the International Journal of Drug Policy, which considered a broad range of implications of legal cannabis markets including controlling the use of pesticides, the interface between medical cannabis markets and recreational cannabis markets, and impacts on public health.

Go to "Let's learn from the mistakes of drug reform pioneers"

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March 10, 2017

THE VIEWS OF CHILDREN IN FAMILY COURT DISPUTES

Many workers have found themselves involved in Family Court proceedings.  Whether it's just supporting a young person through a custody dispute, or something more involved like being subpoenaed to give evidence, Family Court proceedings can be lengthy and complicated.  Recently, Radio National's "Law Report" featured an episode titled "The views of children in Family Court disputes."  The 30 minute radio program looks at a recent High Court decision that overruled the views of two children aged 17 and 15 in a Family Court dispute.  The case highlights the role of the Independent Children's Lawyer, and provides an overview of the complexity of these decisions.


Go to "The views of children in Family Court disputes"

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October 28, 2016

BACKING BOURKE: JUSTICE REINVESTMENT IN ACTION

ABC's Four Corners recently screened an episode that looks at justice reinvestment in action.  The episode titled "Backing Bourke" looks at the NSW town of Bourke, which has one of the worst crime rates in Australia.  The community is trialing a justice reinvestment approach, whereby the money spent on policing and jailing people is instead reinvested into community driven crime prevention initiatives.  The justice reinvestment approach has come from the United States, which has one of the highest imprisonment rates in the world.  The approach uses highly targeted, customsied programs to reduce crime.  In the case of Bourke, this included offering free driving lessons, to reduce the number of young people being charged with unlicensed driving.  The approach has been so successful in American states like Texas, the state has actually been closing down prisons.

Go to "ABC 4 Corners: Backing Bourke"

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