Place-based justice

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre has one overarching goal: make the places we live, work, and raise families safe and resilient through compassionate, tailored and appropriate justice.

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

Who we are

The Neighbourhood Justice Centre is one-stop-justice. 

We are the venue for a Magistrates’ Court, the Children’s Court (criminal division), the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal, and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (residential tenancies) that serves our local government area, the City of Yarra.

Our onsite support services provide case-by-case treatment and support, and place-by-place our community-focused team works with Yarra's services and residents to prevent crime happening again or in the first place. 

Our Program and Innovation Team oversees crime prevention, community engagement, stakeholder engagement and education initiatives and develops innovative programs in response to identified community needs.

Sitting within the Specialist Courts and Programs Division of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, our authorising environment is the Courts Legislation (Neighbourhood Justice Centre) Act 2006 (the Act).

We are one of 80 comparable justice centres worldwide and an International Mentor Court for Community Justice in this movement. 

Modelled on the world’s first community justice centre, Red Hook Community Justice Center, in Brooklyn, New York, we opened in 2007.

Our goals

  • Prevent and reduce criminal and other harmful behaviour in our community
  • Increase our community's confidence in, and access to, the justice system 
  • Strengthen the community justice model and facilitating the transfer of its practices to other courts and communities.

You can read more about our goals here.

Strategic objectives

As outlined in our Strategic Plan:2019–23, our five focus areas are to:

  • Provide accessible justice solutions to make the City of Yarra even safer and stronger 
  • Continue with practices that make us a recognised and valued community justice model 
  • Remain a connected and trusted partner
  • Research and develop justice innovations 
  • Grow as a passionate, skilled and cohesive organisation.

Under one roof

Multi-jurisdictional court and tribunals

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

Client services

  • Social services, including mental health issues, housing, drug and alcohol addiction, financial difficulties, family violence, men's behaviour issues, and homelessness. 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the LGBTI community, and refugee and migrants.

Legal and justice agencies 

  • Victoria Legal Aid
  • Fitzroy Legal Services
  • Community Correctional Services Victoria.

Program and Innovation team

  • Oversees crime prevention, community engagement, stakeholder engagement and education initiatives and develops innovative programs in response to identified community needs.

"One of our clients called the NJC her ‘home away from home’. When we help one person, we help the community."  Jeff, Case Worker.