Support through the justice system

Our justice system

We are working on reducing the number of Indigenous Queenslanders in the criminal justice system (as victims and offenders) and on ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are treated fairly when dealing with legal matters.

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Law basics

Mediation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Mediation is an informal way of settling disputes. When you attempt to resolve your issues through mediation at one of our dispute resolution centres, you and your community are able to keep ownership of the dispute and find solutions that are in line with your cultural values. If you prefer, you can ask for an Indigenous mediator.

Read about mediation, dispute resolution and how to contact us.

Fines and infringements

If you get a fine (an infringement notice) such as a parking or speeding ticket, or a court-ordered fine, details on how to pay will be on the notice. If you don’t pay the fine by the due date, the fine is referred to the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) and a fee is added. If you don’t pay your SPER fine within 28 days:

  • your driver licence may be suspended
  • your employer may deduct money from your wages each month until the fine is paid
  • your bank may be ordered to transfer money from your account
  • an interest may be registered on your property
  • your vehicle may be immobilised
  • your property may be taken and sold.

Read about how to deal with your SPER debt, including what help is available if you are experiencing hardship and can’t pay.

Entering the justice system

If you get accused of breaking the law, get legal help early so that the person helping you can understand your situation and give you the right advice.

Legal help

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service can help you with your criminal, civil and family law matters.

Other free legal help is also available for Indigenous Queenslanders.

Dealing with police and your rights

Getting charged with an offence

Have you been charged with an offence? Find out about the court process in Queensland.

In our justice system


Murri Court

The Murri Court is a program that links Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants to cultural and support services to help them make changes in their lives and stop offending.

Elders or Respected Persons from the community are in the courtroom to guide and encourage defendants, and help magistrates understand more about defendants’ personal and cultural circumstances.

Murri Court is less formal than mainstream courts, but it is not a soft option. Defendants are expected to work hard to make better choices, with the support of the local Community Justice Group and Elders or Respected Persons.

Murri Courts are located in 15 locations:  Brisbane, Caboolture, Cairns, Cherbourg, Cleveland, Ipswich, Mackay, Maroochydore, Mount Isa, Richlands, Rockhampton, St George, Toowoomba, Townsville, and Wynnum.

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Bail is a promise you make to come back to court for your trial or sentence. It allows you to continue living at home instead of being held in prison until your hearing date. You must follow any bail conditions, such as reporting to police regularly.

Read about bail and what the court considers when deciding if you get bail.


Queensland Corrective Services manage our 12 publicly run correctional centres.


  • about prison what happens when you first arrive at prison, prison life and prisoner rights like getting visitors.
  • policies and standards for our correctional facilities on smoking, drugs and alcohol, food and nutrition, and community corrections including offender management.

Find contact details for correctional centres, community corrections offices, reporting centres, community custody centres, the parole board and support groups like the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Board.

Murri Watch

Murri Watch Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Corporation helps Indigenous people of all ages while in custody, including being detained in watchhouses and youth detention centres.

Services include:

  • providing alternate care for people brought into police custody (or those at risk) as a result of being intoxicated
  • cell visits for Indigenous people held in watch houses in the Greater Brisbane area
  • accommodation for Indigenous people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness within the Inner Brisbane City area.

Contact the office on (07) 3891 2822, or visit them 7 days a week at:

15 Hubert Street

Prisoner’s Legal Service

The Prisoner’s Legal Service is a community organisation that gives free legal advice to imprisoned people and their families on all matters relating to imprisonment.

Visit the office at:

20 Merivale Street


  • Prisoners can call directly for free on a number listed at the prison.
  • (07) 3846 5074 (administration)
  • (07) 3846 3384 (Wednesdays 9.00am–11.00am for enquiries by family and friends)

Legal Aid prisoner help

Read about prison and what to do if you are in prison and need legal help.

Salvation Army prisoner support

The Salvation Army offers court and prisoner support through a chaplain.

Call the Brisbane office on (07) 3222 6670, or if you want to talk to someone confidentially, call 1300 36 36 22 (24-hour Salvo Care Line).

Leaving the justice system

Indigenous phone service

Centrelink’s Indigenous phone service helps Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living in rural and remote communities.

Phone 136 380 (Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 5.00pm local time).

Our Indigenous service officers and remote visiting teams can tell you about Centrelink services and programs for Indigenous people.

Money and financial help

Payments and financial help for Indigenous people are available.

Finding a place to live

  • Aboriginal Hostels Limited offers help to Indigenous people who are homeless (or at risk of homelessness) and looking for more permanent accommodation.
  • The Tenrikyo Oceania Centre helps Indigenous people find long-term accommodation.
  • The Dundalli Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islanders corporation helps find Emergency accommodation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 16–20.
    • Dundalli Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islanders corporation
      67 Somerset Street
      WINDSOR QLD 4030
    • Phone (07) 3857 8244

Finding a job

Reconnecting with your community

Community support

  • Find an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander support service in your area.
  • Talk to Kummara Indigenous Family Care. They offer referral, advocacy, education, training services and opportunities to meet with other Indigenous families.
    • 221 Boundary Street
      WEST END QLD 4101
    • Phone (07) 3846 5654