About the Centre
The Neighbourhood Justice Centre improves the quality of community life by improving community safety.
We do this by providing people who come before our court with the support required to break the cycles of offending, supporting victims of crime to get back on their feet, and working with local services and our local community to eliminate social disadvantage.
As an International Mentor Court we assist policy and law makers, justice professionals, community developers, and academics in Australia and abroad to improve their communities through community justice activities.
The only justice centre of this kind in Australia, the Neighbourhood Justice Centre is part of the specialist courts division of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, and one of 50 community justice centres operating around the world.
The NJC opened in 2007 and serves the City of Yarra, an inner city local government area in Melbourne, Victoria.
The sum of many parts, and a one-stop-shop of justice services, the NJC comprises:
- Magistrates' Court
- Children's Court (criminal division)
- Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
- Victims of Crime Tribunal
Also under the roof are services provided by independent agencies:
- Therapeutic and practical support agencies
- Legal representatives
- Police Prosecutions
- Community Correctional Services
And teams of specialists in:
- Crime Prevention & Community Justice
- Community justice education and communications
- Courts innovation
The NJC provides the widest range of service of any justice centre in Australia. All services are available to assist people to address the underlying conditions that contribute to their offending behavior, or for clients who are not attending the court, to assist with living more fulfilling lives. Services include:
- Victims’ support
- Specialised family violence services
- Mental health clinical support
- Drug and alcohol treatment
- Financial counselling
- Housing support
- Employment and training support
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support services
- Refugee and migrant support
Foundations of the NJC
As a community justice centre, everything the NJC does is based on the core principle that justice can help to improve community life, especially in places with high-levels of crime and disadvantage. While honouring and maintaining traditional procedural rights and equality before the law, our centre brings important notions of social justice to the criminal justice agenda. And so, while dealing with criminal events, we can strengthen communities to prevent criminal and harmful behaviour from occurring in the first place.