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.
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.
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.
Recruitment for our December round is now open. Please submit your application by 5pm on December 3rd to be considered. Candidates for this round must be available to complete an interview on December 5th to progress. If you are unable to attend on this date we still encourage you to submit an application and you will be considered for upcoming rounds of recruitment.
Volunteers present legal education programs to prisoners in justice centres across Melbourne. Our aim is to provide inmates with the knowledge and skills needed to gain control in an environment where they may feel powerless.
For more information visit our volunteers page.
Thank you to all that attended our annual trivia night on November 21st.
We hope you had an excellent night and we are excited to announce that the funds raised will cover operating costs well into next year. Photos of the event will be available on our Facebook page soon.
We are incredibly grateful to have such strong support for our organisation.
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The Prison Legal Education and Assistance Project provides legal education seminars to a wide range of inmates. Please explore our website for more information on the PLEA Project.