Police courts and corrections

The purposes of the courts are to seek justice and to discover the truth. Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory do not have legislation dealing with this issue in the context of summary offences. Evidence given by a witness will not become inadmissible because that witness ceases to be competent of giving evidence.

The Criminal Justice System

The police are not only the most numerous but also the most visible component of the criminal justice system. The Commission has previously highlighted the case of Marlon Noble, an Aboriginal man who was in prison for over ten years despite never being tried or convicted of any crime.

People with disabilities, their families, friends and support services gave disturbing accounts in our consultations describing lack of understanding, abuse, prejudice and violence they have met in their dealings with police and investigative bodies.

There is widespread difficulty identifying disability and responding to it appropriately. For example, a male with an IQ of 70 convicted of a sex offence and imprisoned was ineligible to participate in a sexual offender treatment program because corrective services only allowed those with an IQ above 85 to complete the course.

Many of these services and programs specifically provide support to people in dealing with police, courts and custody. Other jurisdictions deal with the issue within their criminal statutes.

Officers investigate crimes and gather and protect evidence. The human rights of people with disabilities will be better respected, their standard of living will improve and the criminal justice system will become less of a presence in their lives.

Justice Administration: Police, Courts, and Corrections Management, 9th Edition

In Queensland, the issue of fitness to plead or fitness to stand trial is dealt with in more than one statute. Styles of communication and questioning techniques used by police, lawyers, courts and custodial officers can confuse a person with disability.

Some positive stories were also reported about lawyers treating their clients with disability with dignity and respect and efforts by court officials to ensure understanding: The defendant is brought before the judge to be informed of the charges and his or her rights.

At the first court appearance or at any other point in the process-depending on the jurisdiction the judge may decide to hold the accused in jail or release him or her on bail, bond, or on his or her"own Recognizance" OR ," OR means the defendant promises to return to court for any required proceedings and the judge does not impose bail because the defendant appears not to be a flight risk.

Inability to access effective justice compounds disadvantages experienced by people with disabilities. In deciding on a sentence, the judge has a range of choices, depending on the crime.

Witnesses who cannot hear or speak 'adequately' may be questioned or give evidence by 'appropriate means'. Having a supportive person present, including a person who can assist with interpreting their evidence Using audiovisual evidence, either in real-time or pre-recorded Cautions to jurors about not drawing adverse inferences just because a person requires assistance to give evidence.

If a person is unable to give sworn evidence they may be competent to give unsworn evidence if the court has told the person that it is important to tell the truth. Inability to participate in programs due to disability and lack of supports or adjustments to programs. He did not receive a stable education and his disability was not diagnosed.

How the criminal justice system works in each area depends on the jurisdiction that is in charge: Inhuman and degrading treatment to manage or respond to disability.

In consultations the Commission heard that these objectives are met in a piecemeal and unsatisfactory manner for people with disabilities. He has not reoffended since he developed this interest. Expert testimony can be costly and it is difficult to find trained people in rural Australia who can give expert testimony.

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The Structure of Criminal Justice

For most people in the community this is an unusual event involving some difficulty, whether they are a victim of crime, a witness or a perpetrator. In addition, elected officials can lead efforts to improve criminal justice by putting forth legislative agendas and mobilizing public opinion.

Negative attitudes and lack of awareness about disability by correctional officers was also identified as a significant barrier. Defendants found not guilty are usually released.Most criminal justice systems have five components-law enforcement, prosecution, defense attorneys, courts, and corrections, each playing a key role in the criminal justice process.

Law Enforcement: Law enforcement officers take reports for crimes that happen in their areas. The justice system's major components—police, courts, and corrections—prevent or deter crime by apprehending, trying, and punishing offenders. Police departments are public agencies whose purposes are to maintain order, enforce the criminal law, and provide services.

3 Police, courts and corrections – the issues General findings In our consultations the Commission received information from people with disabilities and their advocates, support services in the community and in government and people in the police, courts and the custody and release system. * Corrections: In the corrections including the probation, parole, jail, prison and community based sanctions such as electronic monitoring and house arrest, the purpose is to punish, rehabilitate, and ensure public safety.

The criminal justice system is composed of three primary and discernible components: police, courts, and corrections.

What is the Place of Police within the Criminal Justice System?

These components are sometimes referred to as subsystems. From this perspective, the components of the criminal justice system are seen as interrelated, interdependent, and striving to achieve a unified goal.

3 Police, courts and corrections – the issues

The Role of Police, Courts and Department of Corrections in the Juvenile Justice System The juvenile justice system brings the juvenile delinquent in contact with the local police, the court system and if found guilty, the Department of Corrections.

Police courts and corrections
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