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As part of the Unrepresented Accused Pilot Project, data was collected daily by our Court Orientation Workers about the characteristics and needsof the various people who used this service. An analysis of the data showed the following:
- 20% of the people were women, 80% men
- Almost 80% were walk-in or were referred by the court that day
- Over 90% were unrepresented accused (others were victims, represented accused, family members and friends)
- 67% used the service to have help with their first or second appearance
- The most common charges were related to theft, drugs and assault
- Staff served between 8 and 18 unrepresented accused per day. The attention required ranged from 5-30 minutes per person, and included everything from assisting with interim applications and referrals, to information about court procedure.
Courthouse staff were very receptive to the project and referred unrepresented accused to our Court Orientation Worker increasingly as time went on. The unrepresented accused themselves often expressed directly to our Court Orientation Workers their appreciation for the service.