Problem-Solving Approaches to Justice

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Tabled: 6 April 2011

This audit examined whether the Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) at Collingwood and the Court Integrated Services Program (CISP) at the Magistrates' Court's Melbourne, Sunshine and Latrobe Valley sites are reducing reoffending of participants and achieving client and community outcomes. The audit also assessed whether the two programs were based on sound evidence and whether the Department of Justice (the department) and the Magistrates' Court (the court) have effectively managed the programs.

While CISP demonstrably reduced reoffending for offenders selected for an evaluation, definitive conclusions cannot yet be made for NJC. This is primarily because the NJC's evauation could only rely on the small number of offenders who had completed the program. The department's public reporting of both programs has not fairly represented the findings from the evaluations. Data collection and analysis also need to be addressed to improve the ability of future program evaluation in this area.

While the department developed both programs based on solid evidence and research, its funding submissions could have been clearer about the programs' objectives and performance indicators.

The department successfully managed NJC’s implementation overall. In the early implementation of CISP, the performance of the department and the court was mixed. Problems, such as the lack of consultation with the court and inadequate governance arrangements, delayed the CISP's launch. Since the initial difficulties, the court has managed CISP effectively.







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Last updated on 23/07/2013