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Are you a professional justice or community development practitioner? Are you studying law, legal studies, community development, sociology, or education?

You’ll find a raft of information about community justice that explains what it does, from the streets to the courtroom.

Click on the section below to learn more.



Aboriginal Hearing Day

How does a busy court provide culturally appropriate services that ensure justice is fair, appropriate and delivered effectively?

The NJC worked with the Aboriginal community and Heidelberg Magistrate’s Court to develop the partnerships that led to the formation of the court’s Aboriginal Hearing Day.

The study looks at this partnership and how it led to the formation of the Aboriginal Hearing Day, the NJC’s role in the process and the experiences they brought to the project.

Aboriginal Hearing Day project


Estimating the Costs Associated with Community Justice — Australian Institute of Criminology report  

With the number of specialist courts set to grow, a range of alternative justice models have been introduced to tackle underlying causes of harm and reduce the number of people cycling through the revolving door of criminal justice.

However, alternative justice models such as the NJC face tough scrutiny over what they cost to run.

In this independent investigation, the Australian Institute of Criminology compares our operating costs with more traditional court and service delivery models.

The results will surprise even those who champion community justice. 

A crucial read for anyone who wants an answer to the question: is community justice worth the investment?

AIC report- Estimating the costs associated with community justice


Evaluating neighbourhood justice — Australian Institute of Criminology report  

One of the most important developments in criminal justice has been the rise of ‘neighbourhood’ or ‘community justice’.

Community justice is underpinned by the principle that local communities are part and parcel of the justice system, and that the system can only operate in partnership with citizens.

But are community justice courtrooms an expensive luxury or an increasingly necessary model for keeping increasingly complex communities safe from harm?

Independent investigator, the Australian Institute of Criminology turns the spotlight on community justice programs relevant to community courts—crime rates, community order completions, and recidivism rates.

With no holds barred access to our data, the AIC suggests strategies to improve understanding of how community justice programs contribute to improved justice and community outcomes, including significantly reduced reoffending rates.

A companion piece to AIC’s Estimating the Costs Associated with Community Justice.

AIC report- Evaluating the Neighbourhood Justice Centre


Collingwood Conversations summary report

Childhood, for all its joys, is a challenging journey. For children growing up on public housing estates this journey comes with particular issues. And particular opportunities.

In 2013, residents of the Collingwood Housing estate in inner city Melbourne, and local government agencies including the NJC formed the Onwards Collingwood group and ran a project to help the children living on the estate to get the best start in life.

The Collingwood Conversations project illustrates why it takes a village to raise a child— and why the best ideas and clearest insights often come from the littlest members of our community.

A must read for community development practitioners and citizens looking for simply, practical solutions to creating healthy, happy neighbourhoods.

Collingwood Conversations summary report


Reflections on Practice

Drawing on the experiences of staff, clients, volunteers as well as NJC’s partner agencies, Reflections on Practice explores the lessons learned in setting up and developing a community justice agency.

Concentrating on the NJC’s conception in 2006 through to 2011, this is a candid exploration of the benefits and challenges of taking the principles of restorative justice into the courtroom and onto the streets.

A critical read for justice practitioners interested in understanding the evolution of community justice in Australia.

Reflections on Practice


Smith Street Working Group Report

For many decades, the relationship between the police, local traders and Aboriginal community of Collingwood has been one of misunderstanding, conflict and harm.

In 2012, the NJC set itself the ambitious task of healing the rifts between the Aboriginal community, police and traders. Our aim: find the common ground that leads to respect and trust so we all share stewardship of our community.

What happened next was a wholly unpredicted test of courage, hope, trust and understanding.

Find out how and why a group of Aboriginal men and women joined shop keepers and police officers to host an Indigenous music festival on of Melbourne’s most colourful streets.

A project like no other, the story of the Smith Street Working Group challenges assumptions and illustrates the restorative power of celebrating identity, belonging, and culture.

Smith Street Working Group Report


Smith Street Dreaming Community Justice, the road less travelled

A companion piece to the Smith Street Working Group report, stroll down Smith Street with the Working Group to see how small music festival is transforming lives.

The story Smith Street Dreaming perfectly illustrates how community justice works because it takes the right approach to restoring neighbourhoods, not the expected one.

Smith Street Dreaming Community Justice- the road less travelled


Just Yarra – NJC’s Yarra Newsletter 2016

How does a justice centre reach out and start new relationships with their local community? Or to keep existing relationships ongoing? Simple: it writes a love letter to its neighbours.

Our inaugural newsletter is for anyone living and working in the City of Yarra. Because we think you’re fabulous!

Have a squiz and see for yourself.

Just Yarra – NJC’s Yarra Newsletter 2016

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Author: Stuart Ross, Anthony Morgan and Rick Brown
Publisher: Australian Institute of Criminology
Date of Publication: 2015
Copyright: State of Victoria, 2016


Author: Neighbourhood Justice Centre
Publisher: Court Services Victoria
Date of Publication: 2010-2016
Copyright: State of Victoria, 2016


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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are advised that this website may contain images and voices of people who have died.

Reviewed: 08/7/2016 © 2017 State Government of Victoria