JAS has over 40 Advocates and Diversion Co-ordinators across NSW who provide support to clients. We also recruit, train, and support an extensive group of volunteers across New South Wales to provide our clients with support at Court, Police Stations and at legal appointments. We will arrange for one of our staff or trained volunteers to meet clients at the police station, court or legal appointment.
JAS provides a support person if you are in Police custody, including access to free legal advice from a member of our legal team.
This is available 24hrs 7 days a week – call 1300 665 908.
Support for Victims of crime
Being a victim of crime can be a difficult and often traumatising experience. JAS can support victims or witnesses with cognitive impairment to:
- report a crime
- navigate their way through the criminal justice process by providing information and guidance from the time they become a victim until after the court process has finished.
24/7 Support for people in Police Custody
You can also access free legal advice if you are in Police custody from a member of our legal team. To access Justice Advocacy services, or legal advice when at the police station, call 1300 665 908 – 7 days a week. Our line is open 24 hours.
Support for defendants appearing at Court & legal appointments
A person with cognitive impairment has the legal right to have a support person at the police station or in court; unfortunately, this right is not always upheld.
We can arrange for one of our Advocates or trained volunteers to support people with cognitive impairment when appearing at Court, during meetings with their lawyer, Community Corrections appointments, Community Justice Mediation, Youth Cautions and Youth Justice Conferences. This help is to ensure that young people and adults with cognitive impairment understand legal advice, court orders, their obligations and are able to exercise their rights and make informed decisions about their legal matter.
JAS helps people with cognitive impairment to:
remember their appointment and know what to expect
understand and exercise their rights
understand the options available to them
obtain and understand legal advice
raise individual needs
appropriately contribute to proceedings
understand outcomes, conditions and consequences,
remain calm, reduce anxieties remain at Court,
provide information or referrals to other supports, where applicable to their legal matter.
A person may not always need a support person to go to the Police Station or Court with them: they might just need to get advice over the phone about an issue. Depending on the issue our team may refer the person to legal advice or another IDRS service such as the NDIS Appeals team, or suggest other services or support that may be relevant.
To be eligible for JAS support you must be a person living with cognitive impairment in NSW, there is no formal assessment required to access our service.
The ‘So You Have To Go To Court Kit’ was produced by the Diversity Services of Department of Justice. The kit is a resource that was developed for people with cognitive disabilities and includes a 25-minute video.
Training and Development for Justice System professionals
Our education team delivers interactive workshops and professional development to help Justice System professionals work more effectively with people who have a cognitive impairment. The trainings cover a range of topics including:
- Introduction to JAS services and referral processes
- Understanding, recognising and responding to cognitive impairment
- Effective communication strategies and responding to challenging behaviors
- Best practice and targeted strategies for different roles within the criminal justice system
For further information and bookings contact 1300 665 908