Written by Alice Smith, Solicitor, Doogue + George.
Working as a criminal defence lawyer is not just about helping people with their legal issues. People who are charged with criminal offences have a story to tell about how they ended up in the criminal justice system. Abuse, homelessness and drug and alcohol dependency feature so often feature in these stories.
Putting clients in touch with appropriate services is a huge part of our role. Gen Anderson, Program Coordinator from Women And Mentoring (WAM) provides one of those services. They are running a somewhat unique program for women who have legal issues.
WAM have trained a number women, from a range of walks of life, to act as mentors. The target mentorees are women at risk of offending or have been charged, or women who require support through the court process for child custody matters or intervention order matters, for example.
WAM mentors provide a support role with the objective of building up linkages in the community and independence. The objective of the mentoring service is to equip and empower the mentoree such that they no longer require the service.
WAM are based in Sunshine and the City of Yarra. They are open to receiving referrals from any source – police, Corrections or solicitors.
We look forward to future referrals to WAM and working in tandem with them to assist our female clients.