The HPLS Solicitor Advocate, Jeremy Rea, provides representation for people who are homeless and charged with minor criminal offences.
Jeremy’s role was established to overcome some of the barriers homeless people face accessing legal services. These barriers include a lack of knowledge of how to navigate the legal system; the need for longer appointment times to obtain instructions; and the need for greater capacity to address multiple and complex inter-related legal and non-legal problems.
Since commencing in 2008, the HPLS Solicitor Advocate has provided court representation to 362 individual clients in 554 matters.
From January 2010 to December 2012, the HPLS Solicitor Advocate provided court representation to 241 individual clients facing criminal charges. Of these:
- 48 per cent disclosed that they had a mental illness;
- 63 per cent disclosed that they had drug or alcohol dependency;
- 41 per cent disclosed that they had both a mental illness and drug/alcohol dependency;
- 72 per cent had either a mental illness or drug/alcohol dependency;
- 46 per cent disclosed that they have previously been in prison.