What is Court Link?
Court Link is an integrated court assessment, referral and support program .
Court Link assists participants by connecting them with treatment and support services to address housing, employment, drug and alcohol, health and other social needs.
Court Link’s purpose is to provide support and assistance to people in accordance with their risk of re-offending, their needs, and their ability and willingness to receive help.
Where is Court Link available?
Court Link is available in Brisbane and Cairns.
Court Link commenced in Brisbane in November 2017 and Cairns in June 2018, replacing the Queensland Integrated Court Referral Program (QICR).
In Brisbane, Court Link has a dedicated magistrate who conducts regular monitoring of Court Link participants in courtroom 32 .
Court Link officers are located on level 4 at the Brisbane Magistrates Court, 363 George Street, Brisbane.
In Cairns, the Court Link callover occurs regularly and is held in courtroom 6. Court Link officers are located on the Ground floor, Cairns Courthouse , 5D Sheridan Street, Cairns.
Who can be referred to Court Link?
A person can be assessed to participate in Court Link if they are appearing before the Magistrates Court charged with any criminal offence, regardless of whether they will plead guilty or not guilty.
Referrals can be made by a magistrate, the police (including at the watchhouse), the individual, their legal representative, family or others.
The person should require assistance with issues that contribute to the frequency or severity of their offending including:
- drug and alcohol dependency or misuse
- physical and/or mental health issues
- impaired decision-making capacity
- homelessness or risk of homelessness.
Participation is voluntary. There is no limit to the number of times a person may be referred to Court Link.
How to access Court Link?
What happens next?
Professionally qualified Court Link case managers assess people who are referred to determine the level of service required based on their presenting risk and needs.
People who have lower risk and needs, and are not already involved with treatment or support services, will be referred to appropriate community based services.
Court Link officers can provide case management services, for approximately 12 weeks, to persons who have been assessed as having moderate to high risk and needs. This will include working with the individual to develop a case plan and coordinating referrals to community-based services for support and assistance.
A person must be on bail to participate in case management.
Court Link strives to avoid duplication of service delivery. Where a person is receiving case management elsewhere , for example through Probation and Parole or a mental health service provider, recommendations to participate in Court Link will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Judicial monitoring is a term used to describe when a person’s progress is overseen by a magistrate or judge (the court).
If participation in Court Link case management is confirmed by the court, a condition will be placed on the defendant’s bail requiring program participation.
A participant’s engagement with Court Link case management will be regularly monitored by the court.
Court appearances will be determined by the court, through adjournments, when Court Link officers will provide participant progress updates.
The court will receive the Court Link reports, oversee participants’ progress and provide guidance and encouragement to assist participants to reach their case plan goals.
A final report will be provided to the court at the final Court Link mention. The court may consider a participant’s positive engagement when determining a sentence.
Court Link responsibilities
To participate in Court Link, participants must:
- give written, informed consent to participate, which includes agreeing to the sharing of personal information between program staff, support services and the court
- treat Court Link staff with respect
- follow all reasonable directions of their case manager in relation to their case plan
- make a genuine effort to engage with treatment and support services, their case manager and the court process
- attend any appointments as directed by the court or their case manager
- tell their case manager if their contact details change
- attend court as directed.
Failure to engage and participate
All participation and engagement with Court Link will be shared with the court, including a lack of engagement. If a participant does not engage with Court Link, the Magistrate may return the matter back to usual court and the person will no longer remain in the Court Link program. If this happens, it will not result in any extra penalty and it will not be an offence under the Bail Act 1980 for breach of bail.
How many times can I use Court Link?
There is no limit to the number of times that a person can be referred to Court Link.
If referred to Court Link more than once, a person will be assessed in relation to their current situation. This information will be provided to the court for consideration about whether the person is suitable to participate.
- Brisbane Magistrates Court
- Level 4/363 George Street
- Brisbane Qld 4001
- (07) 3239 6411 (after hours - leave a message)
- Business hours
- Monday to Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm
- Cairns Magistrates Court
- Ground floor
- 5D Sheridan Street
- Cairns Qld 4870
- (07) 4048 1481 (after hours - leave a message)
- Business hours
- Monday to Friday, 8.30am-4.30pm