A Welcome Second Chance For The Homeless And Vulnerable

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16th September 2009, 07:57pm - Views: 1098

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170 Phillip Street, Sydney NSW 2000, DX 362 Sydney  T +61 2 9926 0333 


+61 2 9231 5809

ACN 000 000 699

ABN 98 696 304 966

September 16, 2009

A welcome second chance for the Homeless and vulnerable.

The Law Society of NSW welcomes the decision by the NSW Attorney General to

allow homeless and disadvantaged members of the community to pay off fines by

conducting charity work or by entering treatment and education programs.

The two year trial will ensure that the most vulnerable members of society are

given a real chance to get their lives back on track and avoid spiralling further into

debt and a possible prison term.       

“This is a very positive initiative and a genuine step in the right direction. Fines

can become a significant hurdle to someone who is behind the eight ball in the

first place”, said Joe Catanzariti, President of the Law Society of NSW. 

The large number of charitable organisations and youth groups who have

expressed an interest in taking part in the trial indicates the size of this problem.

The accumulation of debt can have a very negative impact on people including

the mandatory loss of a driver’s licence which, in turn, can lead someone to drive

while disqualified with potentially serious consequences.  

“We would like to see the trial succeed and hope that it’s monitored closely to

ensure that those taking part are getting what they need from it. This problem

affects a lot of people all with different needs so we would also hope that it’s

flexible enough to reflect those differences”, Mr Catanzariti said.   

“Any initiative that is designed to give disadvantaged people a second chance in

life and help them steer clear of the criminal justice system is to be openly

encouraged. The Government is to be applauded for getting this trial under way

because it’s a win - win for everybody”, Mr Catanzariti said.    

If the trial is successful the Law Society would encourage the government to

expand the program so that a greater cross section of the community can benefit.   



Media Contact:  Sean Brogan 9926 0250 or 0407 436 709.

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