Brisbane Court Link program celebrates first year
An innovative court program that is helping people overcome the underlying causes of offending has celebrated its first year of operation in Brisbane.
Department of Justice and Attorney-General Director-General David Mackie hailed the program, which is based on individual case management and monitoring, a positive move to assisting in the reduction of offending.
“Recently I received some positive news about a man who, with the help of the Court Link program, turned his life around,” Mr Mackie said.
“The man presented with a history of eight years of substance abuse, experienced a relationship breakdown with his family, and had never been employed.”
Mr Mackie said through Court Link, he engaged in drug and alcohol counselling and was referred to a specialist organisation which developed a mental health care plan to address his underlying mental health concerns.
“I’m pleased to report that this participant has gained meaningful employment, obtained a trade licence, taken up a sport and is rebuilding his relationship with his family,” he said.
“This is one example of how Court Link is helping many of its participants to rebuild their lives by addressing the underlying causes of their offending.”
Mr Mackie said in the past year, Court Link Brisbane had admitted 89 individuals for case management and referrals to community organisations were made for a further 55 individuals.
“Court Link takes a therapeutic jurisprudence approach which aims to maximise a person’s participation in the program,” he said.
“The cost of crime impacts significantly on the criminal justice system and community, both socially and economically. These impacts are further exacerbated when defendants continue to re-offend.
“One of the best ways of keeping the community safe is by addressing the underlying causes of offending and preventing people from re-offending. Diversionary programs such as Court Link aim to do just that.”
Court Link has been operating in Brisbane since November 2017 and in Cairns since June 2018. Last month, the program was rolled out to Ipswich and Southport courthouses.
Further information on how to make a referral to Court Link can be found at https://www.courts.qld.gov.au/services/court-programs/court-link