The Justice Advocacy Service (JAS) supports young people and adults with cognitive impairment in contact with the NSW criminal justice system, including as victims, witnesses and suspects/defendants to exercise their rights and fully participate in the process.
JAS is available across NSW including in rural, regional and remote areas, and concentrated in NSW Police Area Commands, Police Districts and around central court locations.
We use an individual advocacy approach by arranging a support person to be with victims, witnesses and suspects/defendants when they are in contact with police, courts and legal representatives.
JAS is available to victims, witnesses and suspects/defendants in contact with the NSW criminal justice system who may have a cognitive impairment. A potential client does not need to provide evidence of cognitive impairment to access the service. If police, court, legal representatives, correctional officers or other stakeholder believes the person may have a cognitive impairment, a referral can be made by calling JAS on 1300 665 908.
The NSW Mental Health and Cognitive Impairment Forensic Provisions Act 2020 recognises a cognitive impairment may arise from any of the following conditions but may also arise for other reasons –
- intellectual disability
- borderline intellectual functioning
- an acquired brain injury
- drug or alcohol related brain damage, including fetal alcohol spectrum disorder,
- autism spectrum disorder.
You can download the program fact sheets here for further information.
If you are a victim of crime, you have rights under the Charter of Victims Rights. You can download the charter below.