Evaluation of the Community Justice Groups : Final report


The Queensland Community Justice Group (CJG) Program is funded by the Department of Justice and Attorney General to develop justice strategies, support and reduce Indigenous contact with the criminal justice system and support victims of crime. Key principles underpinning like programs include the promotion of community responsibility and the recognition of Indigenous values within the Western justice system. While the program design, funding levels and activities of like initiatives may vary, most play a role in supporting Indigenous offenders when they are already in the criminal justice system. The qualitative findings of the current study suggest that program funding is not delivering maximum value for money in key areas such as program design, governance, skills and capability development and in the long term, pro-active diversionary activity. The evaluation found widespread support for the CJG Program amongst Indigenous community leaders, community based service providers, and justice system stakeholders such as local police officers and Court staff. In the view of stakeholders, the program is not realising its potential for reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the justice system, although it is seen as making an important contribution towards achieving this goal. Consideration needs to be given to strengthening the program by refining its goal, prioritising its resources, improving governance and performance management frameworks and providing adequate training and education for CJGs.

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