PLEA Tenth Anniversary Gala

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2017 is a momentous year for PLEA as we celebrate an incredible ten years of operation. Over this time we’ve delivered legal education programs to thousands of incarcerated Victorians and helped launch the careers of hundreds of law students.

Since we first started with a handful of volunteers working their way into one men’s prison, we’ve expanded to an organisation of over 80 volunteers presenting programs, ranging from court readiness to migration law, in prisons across Melbourne and Geelong. PLEA now presents in 8 of Victoria’s 13 prisons.

All of this is certainly cause for a party and PLEA is delighted to invite to our Tenth Anniversary Gala Ball.

We are extremely excited to have on offer an amazing night including:

  •  3 course dinner
  • All-night drinks package
  • Live band and DJ
  • Key note presentation from prominent members of the legal community

All to be followed by an after party into the early hours.

Tickets are a steal at $75 for students and $120 for our supporters with all proceeds after costs going to support the ongoing work of our organisation.

Tickets are on sale now so start getting your table together and secure your place today!

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Summer Recruitment Round

We are excited to announce that we are recruiting volunteers across all of our programs. PLEA presenters have the unique opportunity to work with some of the most vulnerable members of our community, while developing their own practical legal skills.

Our volunteers are excellent communicators, dedicated law students and passionate about social justice. If you think you fit the bill, we’d encourage you to apply now.

Volunteers will have opportunities to undertake training over the summer break and we will be holding interviews as soon as 17 December, so we recommend applying early. For further information please visit our Volunteering Section or contact us.

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Trivia tickets now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the 2016 PLEA Trivia Night. This annual event is an amazing chance for our volunteers and community of supporters to come together to celebrate our achievements for the year and raise some much needed funds to support the project.

Tickets are a bargain at $30 per seat or $270 for a table of ten. With all proceeds supporting PLEA’s valuable work!

All tickets include:
– Trivia with prizes
– Dinner
– Entertainment
– Cheap drinks

Buy your tickets today here! Find more information on our Facebook event

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2016 Trivia Night

PLEA is unbelievably excited to announce our annual celebration and trivia night on Saturday 10 December from 6:30pm. Featuring fantastic prizes, curly questions, our famous dinner and generous bar, we are sure the night will again be the highlight of your holiday season!

All proceeds from the event provide vital support to the project. Funds go to ensuring our presenters have quality resources, expanding to new prisons and keeping our lights on. So not only do you get an excellent night out, you’ll feel good the next morning!

Tickets go on sale this week, further information can be found on our Facebook page here. Start getting your team together now!

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Applications for PLEA’s Spring recruitment close Wednesday.

Applications for our Spring round of presenter recruitment close this Wednesday 17 August. PLEA offers unparalleled opportunities for law students across Melbourne and Geelong to develop their legal knowledge and presentation skills, all while making a contribution to assisting some of the most vulnerable members of the Victorian community.

If you are a current law student, have a keen interest in social justice, and can commit a few hours each week, we would love to hear from you. Interviews will be conducted in Melbourne and Geelong in the coming weeks.

Find more information and the application form here.

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Spring Recruitment Round now open

Applications are now open for PLEA’s spring recruitment round.

The PLEA Project offers exceptional opportunities for law students to put their education into practice and work with some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people. Volunteers develop a deep understanding of areas of criminal and civil law, expand their presentation skills, and have access to unparalleled professional development and networking opportunities.

We are looking for law students with a passion for social justice, demonstrated commitment and a willingness to grow within our organisation. While study of criminal, family and migration law is valued, all content training is provided and not a prerequisite for the role.

Applicants for the spring round must be available to interview on Saturday 20th August. Interviews will be conducted in Melbourne and Geelong. For further information and to apply click here.

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Youth Justice Forum a big success

We want to thank the over 180 attendees who joined us for our inaugural Youth Justice Forum on Wednesday. With a robust and fascinating panel discussion, we are very happy to declare the event a success.

Our next event is already in the works for September 2016 with a focus on hearing from young people and understanding their experiences. We certainly hope you will join us and we will be in contact with further information closer to the date. In the meantime we would love to keep in touch with you, you can follow us on Facebook and connect on LinkedIn.

You had a chance to hear from our amazing team of volunteer presenters and gain a bit on an insight into the fantastic work that they do. The support of members of the legal community is integral to what we do. If you are interested in offering support, such as reviewing presentation content or providing training on a new area of law, we would love to hear from you and invite you to contact our Project Manager. If you are a law student and would be interested in volunteering as a presenter, you can find more information on our volunteering page.

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PLEA Youth Justice Forum

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Registration is now open!

The Prison Legal Education & Assistance Project is proud to host our inaugural Public Forum this June. Building on our organisation’s history of providing educative programs to incarcerated young people, the Forum will explore the experience of youth offenders through the justice system from pre-offending diversion programs through to the experience within a justice centre and post-release services.

The Forum will provide insight into the work currently being undertaken by a range of organisations and equip participants with learnings they can translate into their own work in the sector and the information to advocate for change across the system.

This event is free and open to the public, members of the legal community and students. We are very excited to announce our panel participants shortly.

Register now!

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Incarceration rates remain at record levels

The recent release of the Productivity Commission’s annual Report on Government Services has revealed a substantial increase in demand across the Victorian criminal justice space. The number of released prisoners who return to prison under sentence within two years is now at an all time high of above 44%. The number of individuals in prison and imprisonment rates have peaked both in Victoria and nationally.

Assault rates in Victorian prisons are higher than the national average and Victoria has the second lowest completion rate of CCOs of all Australian states – averaging just 65% over the last ten years.

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Program launch at Melbourne Assessment Prison

As part of PLEA’s program expansion, we commenced presentations at the Melbourne Assessment Prison late 2015.

Due to the high turnover of remandees through MAP the program has experienced strong interest from inmates. With most attendees accessing our content at the beginning of their cases, we are presenting an adapted version of the Court Readiness package presented at MRC and DPFC. We are noting high levels of energy and sometimes anxiety from attendees. Conversations have been challenging across a range of topics including access to Aboriginal legal services and converting sentences across jurisdictions.

As with other remand centres, attendee demographics vary greatly. Inmates typically attend the presentation following their initial induction into MAP. This means we are working with some on their first day in a prison ever. For further information including volunteer opportunities, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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