Free NT juvenile justice legal advice service launched

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A free legal advice service for people participating in the Northern Territory’s inquiry into the juvenile justice and child protection systems has been launched.
 
The service called the Children in Care and Youth Detention Advice Service (CICAYDAS) was launched in Darwin by Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion on Monday, an AAP report said.
 
Administered by the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs, the service has been funded by a $1.1 million allocation by the Turnbull government.
 
The Royal Commission into the Child Protection and Youth Detention Systems of the Government of the Northern Territory was established in July to probe the treatment of children and young persons detained in youth detention facilities administered by the Government of the Northern Territory, particularly the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.
 
CICAYDAS will provide remote community outreach, referrals to solicitors and help with access to financial assistance for potential witnesses, said the AAP. Hearings are expected to continue next month and the Royal Commission is expected to hand in its report by the end of March next year.
 
Minister Scullion who was joined by Labor senator Malarndirri McCarthy and a member for Solomon Luke Gosling said that it is “important to allow people to tell their stories.”
 
“The most important thing is this cultural competence and comfort,” he said.
 
Meanwhile, senator McCarthy welcomed the important role of the service while admitting the “terrible issues here in the Northern Territory in terms of working with our most disadvantaged people on every level.”
 

Related stories:
Indigenous incarceration inquiry ‘a national priority’ – ABA
Board warns of dire Western Australia Legal Aid state
 

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