Criminal Justice Programs
The AJC provides and coordinates support services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the ACT criminal justice system.
Legal advice can be obtained through Solicitors in the Aboriginal Legal Service - Canberra Office (02) 6249 8488 or the ACT Women’s Legal Service (02) 6257 4499 or 1800 634 669.
The AJC’s role is to provide and coordinate prevention and case management programs to support ‘at risk’ and vulnerable persons.
The AJC will provide assistance, support and advocacy on a range of social issues or problems, but no legal advice is available.
Interview Friends Program
Who is an Interview Friend ?
When an Indigenous child or adult is taken into custody for any offence, an Interview friend must be present. This is a legal requirement.
For children (under 18 years of age), an Interview Friend can be;
- a parent or guardian or a legal practitioner acting for the child; or
- A relative or friend who is acceptable to the child, if none of the people in (1) are available; or
- A person from the Aboriginal Friends Call Out Roster.
- A police officer is NOT considered to be an independent person when interviewing children.
For adults, an interview friend can be;
1. a relative or other person chosen by the person in custody; or
2. a legal representative acting for the person; or
3. a representative of an Indigenous legal aid organisation; or
4. a person on the Aboriginal Friends Call Out Roster
A volunteer from the Aboriginal Interview Friends Roster should be used;
- As a last resort for the Indigenous adults in custody; and
- As a third contact point for Indigenous children in custody.
What is the role and purpose of an Interview Friend?
An Interview Friend from the Aboriginal Interview Friend Call Out Roster DOES:
- Provide independent, confidential support to an Indigenous person in custody when a relative/friend or lawyer is unavailable;
- Makes sure that the interview is conducted properly and that the person in custody is not intimidated or harassed; and
- Offer company and assistance with cultural issues;
- Ensure the rights of young people are upheld.
An Interview Friend from the Aboriginal Friends Call Out Roster DOES NOT:
- Provide legal advice, unless the are legally qualified to do so; or
- Discuss with the broader community any confidential or private information about any person the Interview Friend has assisted in custody;
- Have to drive offenders home if released after an interview, this is the decision of the interview friend and not a requirement of the program.
AJC Men's group
The AJC Men's Group was established to provide support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in the ACT. The Men's Group currently meets every second Wednesday of the month.
The aim of the Men's Group is to enable men of all ages within our community to meet and discuss issues which are impacting on them in our community. It is also an opportunity for the men to invite guest speakers to provide information around a range of issues including anger management, budgeting, legal advice, housing and parenting.
If you would like more information on the AJC Men's Group, please call Warren Daley on 61621000