Published on Friday 22, November 2019

IMCL is currently working on two new ambitious projects, including our partnership with the Inner-West Police and Clinician Emergency Response (PACER) team and the launch of our Youth Outreach Lawyer (YOL) service to assist at-risk and marginalised young people.

PACER Project

In 2018, the Inner Melbourne Community Legal Centre explored a partnership with the Inner-West Police and Clinical Early Response team (PACER) to develop and pilot a model for delivering free legal help to people who come into contact with PACER. The PACER team, comprised of a police member and mental health clinician, provides an on-the-spot clinical assessment of risk for people experiencing a mental health episode.

In 2019, IMCL received a grant of assistance from the Victorian Legal Services Board, with thanks to the in principle support of Victoria Police, Melbourne Health and Inner West Area Mental Health Services. With a direct referral pathway to an IMCL PACER lawyer, the project aims to assist individuals to lessen the impact of legal issues that exacerbate their mental health crises. Through this, we hope to improve the wellbeing of people with a lived experience of psychiatric or mental health emergencies and their carers. IMCL also believes that early intervention to address consumers’ legal issues has a resulting benefit for co-responders (police and clinicians) by lessening the demands upon them and the health and justice systems. 

Youth Outreach Lawyer Service 

Inner Melbourne Community Legal has received a grant to employ a Youth Outreach Lawyer to work with the student cohort and broader communities of St Joseph's Flexible Learning Centre, the River Nile School and Learning Centre and other youth focused organisations in the area including The Huddle and The Drum Youth Services. IMCL will work with each of these schools and organisations to employ a human centred co-design methodology to determine the optimal form and function of the service to best meet the legal needs of young people at their school or organisation. Through this project, we hope to support young people to remain engaged in education, allow them to grow up healthy, safe and to their full potential, discover new and creative ways of addressing social challenges and test new approaches that have the potential to provide long term solutions.