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Place-based justice

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre has one overarching goal: Make the places we live, work, and raise families safe and resilient.

This is the foundational goal of community justice, and so it is ours.  

Who we are

The NJC is a 'one-stop-justice-centre'. We comprise a court, a range of support services, and specialist teams working in justice innovation, communication, and education.

We are Australia's first community justice centre, a member of a worldwide network of around 50 such centres, and a International Mentor Court for community justice. 

Part of Magistrates' Courts of Victoria, we have been proudly serving the City of Yarra since 2007.

Our focus

Our work is directed at:

  • Preventing and reducing criminal and other harmful behaviour in our jurisdiction (the City of Yarra)
  • Increasing our community's confidence in, and access to, the justice system 
  • Strengthening the community justice model and facilitating the transfer of its practices to other courts and communities.

Community justice

Community justice is framework of the criminal justice system that combines social justice principles, criminal justice activities, and community development.

It give police, courts, and correctional services guidence to rehabilitate people who offend, repair the harms caused by crime, and prevent crime from happening in the first place.

Treating crime and social disadvantage as complex problems to be solved, community justice makes communities stronger, safer, and resilient. 

Read more about community justice. (External link)

Under our roof

The sum of many parts the NJC comprises:

  • Magistrates' Court 
  • Children's Court (criminal division)
  • Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal
  • Victims of Crime Tribunal

Independent agencies form our interdisciplinary team model:

  • Community and social services
  • Legal representatives
  • Police Prosecutions
  • Community Correctional Services

And our model includes:

  • Community focused crime prevention  
  • Community justice education and communications
  • Justice services research and development (innovation)

Client services

Our Client Services team comprises a range of social services, including: mental health issues, housing, drug and alcohol addiction, financial difficulties, family violence, men's behaviour issues, and homelessness. 

Our also provide specialised services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the LGBTI community, and refugee and migrants.

Client Services primarily work with people going through the justice process.  However, we help anyone in our community struggling with personal and social disadvantages to find the right path to well-being by referring to the services in the community.

You can read more here (External link).

Specialist teams

We develop effective justice practices, produce better outcomes, and prevent crime from happening in the first place. The teams do so are:

  • Community crime prevention:  partners with residents, traders, police, council and state government to address community safety issues and build community capacity in the City of Yarra.
  • Education: transfers skills and knowledge to justice and allied sector practitioners, academics and students through workshops, information sessions, mentoring, internships, and student-led services.
  • Justice Innovation: designs and tests ideas to improve the user experience of the justice system, to overcome system-wide barriers to improve access to justice
  • Communications:shares our work to expand smart, effective justice practices.

"One of our clients called the NJC her ‘home away from home’. She was talking about how our social services and court gave her a helping hand to beat addiction, climb out of the downward spiral that was ruining her life and reconnect with family.

It's true. when we help one person, we help everyone. 

Few courts receives such praise. Feedback like this makes us proud of what we do, and makes us work harder to evolve."

Ann, NJC Communications