What is the Court Link program in Queensland?

What is the Court Link program in Queensland?

Court Link is a Queensland bail-based program focused on rehabilitative and therapeutic methods catered to vulnerable defendants. The goal is to support participants in addressing and overcoming underlying issues, needs and vulnerabilities that may have a link to their criminal offending. It is hoped that by doing this, it reduces the risk of re-offending and supports positive life outcomes for participants.

The Court Link program assists defendants by connecting them with community support services to help with:

  • employment;
  • housing and homelessness;
  • mental health;
  • drug and alcohol addiction.

The program is available in many courts throughout Queensland, including Brisbane, Southport, Ipswich, Caboolture, Redcliffe, Pine Rivers and Maroochydore.

Am I eligible to participate in Court Link?

The program is voluntary, and there is no limit as to how many times you can participate.

To be eligible, the following criteria must be met:

  • That you are on bail;
  • That you have been charged with one or more offences before a Magistrates Court;
  • That you require assistance with one or more issues that contribute to criminal offending, for example, drugs and/or mental health issues.

Importantly, you do not need to be pleading guilty to the charges to be eligible to participate in the Court Link program.

How do I participate in Court Link if I am eligible?

There are different ways you can be referred to the Court Link program. For example, a referral can be made by yourself, a legal representative (your lawyer), a prosecutor, or a Magistrate.

Once a referral has been completed, you will go through a triage process with a Court Link staff member. They will assess your needs and risks on a case-by-case basis to ensure they offer you the appropriate level of support.

If you are eligible to participate in the program, you will need to comply with the conditions of the program and make a genuine effort to engage with treatment, support services, attending appointments, attending court as required, and following all reasonable directions by your Court Link case manager.  

What happens during the Court Link program?

Once you began participating in the Court Link program, it will last for approximately 12 weeks.

Your court matter will be referred to the specialist Court Link Court. Your participation and engagement will be monitored by a Magistrate who hears progress updates from Court Link staff about you.

If you fail to positively engage, this can result in you being removed from the program, and this may be taken into account by a Court when sentencing you.

What is the benefit of participating in Court Link?

Aside from the obvious personal therapeutic benefits, your positive participation in the Court Link program can be considered by the Court at the time of a sentence. This may result in the Court reducing your penalty.

Getting help from a criminal lawyer

Gilshenan & Luton are very experienced criminal lawyers who are familiar with the Court Link process. We regularly assist defendants that wish to engage with the program and finalise their matters through the Court Link program.

If you are interested in participating in the program, you should contact Gilshenan & Luton for legal advice and assistance.

Contacting Gilshenan & Luton Criminal Defence Lawyers

📞 07 3361 0222  (24/7)

📧 gnl@gnl.com.au

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This article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require further information, advice or assistance for your specific circumstances, please contact Gilshenan & Luton, Criminal & Employment Lawyers Brisbane and Sunshine Coast, Queensland.

Get in touch with the author:
Jaimee-Lee Jessop


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