New video highlights the work of Queensland’s Court Link
The latest video in the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council’s Doing Justice Differently series highlights the role Court Link plays in working with criminal defendants to address problems that may contribute to their offending.
The 12-week specialist bail-based support program is for matters dealt within the Magistrates Court regardless of whether people are pleading guilty or not guilty in their proceedings.
Chair of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council, John Robertson, said the program is voluntary and assesses each individual’s needs, providing options for treatment or support services, and takes into consideration unique characteristics including cultural identity and gender.
“Our video shows how the Court Link program meets people where they are at in life and how professional case managers work with people to make positive changes,” Mr Robertson said.
“Referrals can be made to appropriate community-based services that assist with challenges including homelessness or risk of homelessness, drug and alcohol use, physical and or mental health issues, and impaired decision-making capacity.
“Court Link also offers ‘in-house’ support services including working with defendants to develop and achieve goals through a personal case plan and counselling,” Mr Robertson said.
In developing the Doing Justice Differently series and working with the specialist courts, the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council is focusing attention on the many ways the court system is working to invest in people to keep communities safe.
“The progress of Court Link participants is monitored, and they are required to attend court during the program so the magistrate can provide encouragement and keep an eye on how the person is going in working to achieve their goals and make changes,” Mr Robertson said.
“Once the participant has undertaken the program, their participation – whether positive or not so positive – is taken into consideration in the sentencing decision by the magistrate.
“Our video shows how everyone from the Court Link case managers to the magistrate want people to succeed and rehabilitate so they can reintegrate back into the community as healthy and productive members of our society,” Mr Robertson said.
The short Court Link video is the second in the Doing Justice Differently series, with the first video focusing on the Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court.