NSW Legal Assistance Forum
The Foundation participates in NLAF, an organisation promoting collaboration and co-ordination in the development of legal services in New South Wales. The Foundation houses and supports the NLAF project manager, Kerry Wright, and is part of the NLAF Executive.
The work of NLAF in 2014–2015 focused on strategies to address access to legal services for prisoners, parents and children involved in proceedings under the Education Act, and the impacts of fines and traffic law issues on disadvantaged people in rural, remote and regional areas of NSW.
The NLAF Prisoners Forum continues its strong working relationship with Corrective Services NSW (CSNSW). During the year, the forum received updates on projects to reduce the number of Aboriginal women in custody by linking women with support services on the South Coast, and a trial program to refer Aboriginal clients during court proceedings to support services to reduce the high rates of custodial sentences.
The forum also received a report from the Prisoners Legal Information Team about the rollout of the Legal Literary in Prisons project to Windsor, Broken Hill and Goulburn correctional centres.
Fines and traffic law working group
The working group aims to reduce the number of people who experience legal problems associated with fines, licence suspension and disqualification, particularly young people and Aboriginal people without access to alternative transport.
The working group received a report on the financial assistance scheme available to participants in the mandatory alcohol interlock program, and continued to promote participation in the work and development order scheme.
Education Act working group
The Education Act working group was established in March 2015 with the aim of improving access to legal services for parents and children involved in Compulsory School Order (CSO) proceedings in the Children’s Court and Education Act prosecutions in the local court.
The working group commenced identifying service providers and programs across federal and state governments addressing truancy in New South Wales and promoted the availability of legal services for parents and children to the legal profession, courts, schools and community workers.
For more information on NLAF, visit www.nlaf.org.au