26 September 2023

Justice’s jobs for fines judged a fine scheme

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A scheme developed by the Department of Justice to help people in hardship clear unpaid fines has been declared a success.

According to Attorney General, John Quigley, the Work and Development Permit Scheme assists vulnerable and disadvantaged people resolve their fines by undertaking work, training or treatment.

Mr Quigley said more than 130 people and dozens of sponsors at 140 locations have signed up for the scheme since it began operating seven months ago.

He said it was part of a law reform package passed by the Parliament in June 2020.

Mr Quigley said the legislation now insured that imprisonment for non-payment of fines could only be ordered by a magistrate as a sanction of last resort.

He said the scheme was being delivered by the Department in partnership with Legal Aid WA and the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western Australia with any person eligible for the scheme entitled to reduce or clear the court fines owed by completing specified activities or treatment programs under the supervision of an approved sponsor.

“These include unpaid work; medical or mental health treatment; educational, vocational or personal development courses; treatment for alcohol or drug use problems, or mentoring (for under 25s),” Mr Quigley said.

“Aside from experiencing financial hardship, people may be eligible if subjected or exposed to family violence, have a mental illness or disability, are homeless, or experiencing alcohol and drug use problems,” he said.

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