While out of custody many women will contact the Court Liaison to obtain information in regards to addiction referral, intervention regarding domestic violence or shelter availability. The Court Liaison additionally provides basic “physical” assistance to clients in need, such as the provision of warm and/or appropriate clothing as necessary, as well as assistance with, local transportation if required.
Attending court can be a frightening and overwhelming experience for a victim, a witness, the accused, friends and family. An individual may feel isolated, alone and confused by the entire process. The Court Liaison can be of great assistance as a supportive and non-judgmental advisor. The Court Liaison is trained in court procedure and has an extensive knowledge of legal and community resources. The Court Liaison is of even greater assistance to women held in custody since many are cut off from all direct communication with their families and community support services.
The Court Liaison will make contact on behalf of the women with legal aid, duty counsel, or a woman’s personal legal representative. This also includes making contact with family and/or friends, or acting as a resource to refer the women to other supportive social service agencies. The Court Liaison also offers supportive assistance to the families and/or significant others of the accused in the understanding that the judicial process is often as stressful and emotional for the families involved as it is for the accused herself.
The Court Liaison is often the first point of contact for women and families in crisis as they confront the realities of involvement in the criminal justice system. She serves as both a conduit for information as well as an active resource and networker.
Females who are in custody either awaiting bail, on remand, to set trial date or enter a plea, often have a number of obstacles preventing their release into the community. They rarely have the financial resources necessary to hire a lawyer. The Court Liaison will advise duty counsel that the client will require their assistance that day and will also ensure that the Legal Aid representative meets with the client to take her legal aid application. The Court Liaison will also contact family and/or friends to ensure that the client has someone to act as her surety, and who will ideally assist her in achieving a measure of social support and stability.
Ensure that women who are detained know their legal rights and how to exercise them.
Ensure that females in conflict with the law and appearing at the A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse have access to all available and relevant legal and social services.
Arrange for an Elizabeth Fry Society representative to visit women who are detained to discuss programming such as referral to Ellen House.
Any female involved in the judicial system at the A. Grenville and William Davis Courthouse.
Court Office:A.Grenville and William Davis Courthouse
7755 Hurontario Street, Room 230
Brampton, ON L6W 4T1Tel: 905-456-4700 x5652
Elizabeth Fry Society of Peel-Halton
44 Peel Centre Drive, Suite 200
Brampton, ON L6T 4B5