Started 2 petitions
Save the ALS
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is cutting nearly 20% funding from Aboriginal Legal Services. THIS MASSIVE CUT TO FRONTLINE LEGAL SERVICES WILL MEAN MORE ABORIGINAL PEOPLE WILL GO TO PRISON, and for longer. A cut of nearly 20% could mean: More Aboriginal kids taken away from their families, placed in out-of-home care, then ending up locked up More Aboriginal men and women filling our prisons More Aboriginal deaths in custody Massive increases in costs to the taxpayers Massive reduction in frontline service provision Huge job losses and potential office closures A cut of nearly 20% to our frontline services will mean more Aboriginal people will go to jail. ANOTHER BROKEN PROMISE BY THE PRIME MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO STOP THE CUTS! HOW? Show the government how MASSIVE the support is to stop the cuts by signing this petition and keeping a vital community legal service alive. __________________ Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT (ALS) helps Aboriginal men, women and children not helped by mainstream legal services. A cut of nearly 20% could mean: Around 20% of staff, including ALS lawyers, field and administration officers will lose their jobs. ALS offices in urban, regional or remote areas may have to close, some in areas where there is no other lawyer in town or for miles around. Our family law practice and children's care and protection law practice addressing family violence and children's welfare may cease to exist. Our criminal law practice may be significantly reduced in size. Our Custody Notification Service (CNS), a 24/7 legal advice and RU OK phone line may cease to exist. There have been no Aboriginal deaths in police cell custody in NSW and ACT since the CNS began. Aboriginal imprisonment rates will soar beyond levels imaginable. The huge number of children being removed from their families and who are disproportionately represented in juvenile detention and prison will be locked up at even faster rates. Huge costs to the taxpayer. Every $1 not spent on legal assistance services will cost taxpayers more than $2 elsewhere in the community, through unemployment, social services, welfare, health problems, housing and ongoing issues. Closing the Gap outcomes are not met.
Prevent Aboriginal deaths in police cell custody by saving the Custody Notification Service (CNS)
There have been no Aboriginal deaths in police cell custody in NSW and ACT since the Custody Notification Service (CNS), a 24-hour legal advice and RU OK phone line began in 2000. Two years ago we had to fight for funding, and now we're fighting again. The Australian government is not funding the CNS beyond 30 June 2015. The grant they provided in 2013 is coming to an end. TIME IS RUNNING OUT. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP THE CNS RUNNING! Show how MASSIVE the support is for government to fund this service by signing this petition and keeping a vital service alive. Every time our lawyers speak to an Aboriginal person being detained, they check upon the welfare of the person by asking RU OK? Often people aren't OK. Threats of self-harm or suicide are common. Our lawyers are skilled at hearing ideation or real threats of self-harm or suicide. The lawyer talks carefully with the person, notifies the Police, and the vulnerable person in custody is made safe. The CNS is an extremely SUCCESSFUL program assisting vulnerable people with fair and equitable access to justice and welfare. IT'S NOT JUST A PHONE LINE, IT'S A LIFELINE. Funding for the CNS ceases on 30 June 2015. The phone line costs nearly the same to operate as holding two juveniles in detention for one year - $526,000 per annum. The ALS is urgently calling on the Australian government to fund this essential service. Incarceration rates are too high, and there have already been too many Aboriginal deaths in police cell custody in this country. ______________________________ DID YOU KNOW: The police must contact the ALS every time they take on an Aboriginal person into police custody. It was a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and is now legislated under NSW law.