The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council (QSAC) is seeking members to represent communities and organisations on sentencing matters as part of a new Community Connection Group (CCG).
QSAC Chair John Robertson says the CCG will provide QSAC with valuable insights into community views on sentencing issues and help promote greater understanding of the court sentencing process.
“Bringing people together from across the state is a first for the council, part of whose role it is to engage with and inform Queenslanders about sentencing,” Mr Robertson said.
“The CCG will provide us with a proactive forum to consult and engage with community members on matters related to sentencing and associated issues in Queensland.
“We are seeking expressions of interest from individuals to represent communities and organisations to be part of the 24-member group… (which) will meet twice a year and aims to represent everyone from people who have had dealings with the courts as a victim or a witness, to those who have been sentenced themselves, members of support organisations, and those who have had no involvement with the justice system at all, but simply have an interest in it.”
Mr Robertson said the voluntary group, with a focus on attracting people from regional, rural and remote areas, would have an opportunity to provide feedback on the council’s work whilst helping the council build a better understanding of the implications of sentencing for diverse communities. These include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, children, businesses, the elderly, people with disabilities and those for whom English is a second language.
Proposed meetings will be held online to allow members from across the state to discuss issues face to face, without having to leave their community.
“Technology is enabling us to speak with and listen to more people in real time,” Mr Robertson said.
“Because of this, the members of the CCG will be able to lend their voices to some of the state’s most interesting and meaningful work being done in the area of criminal sentencing.”
Expressions of interest are now open and can be completed via the online form.