CONGRESS CALLS FOR FEDERAL POLITICIANS TO GET SMART ON JUSTICE
Moving the Australian justice system from being tough on crime to smart on crime is the basis of Congress’s call for a national inquiry into Justice Reinvestment.
“We have written to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee requesting they investigate the implementation of Justice Reinvestment in Australia especially in relation to dealing with the substantial over‐representation of our people in the justice system,” said Congress Co‐Chair Jody Broun.
“Measures such as Justice Reinvestment – which diverts funds into programs focussed on crime prevention, early intervention, diversion and rehabilitation – will save money and keep people away from prisons,” she said.
Co‐Chair Les Malezer said international evidence shows this approach can substantially reverse incarceration rates and also reduce the unjustifiable costs of a jail‐based justice policy.
“There is substantial community support for a Justice Reinvestment approach in its potential to reduce both costs and crime; what is most needed now is the will within Government to advance it,” said Co‐Chair Malezer.
“Justice Reinvestment is a key recommendation of the Congress National Justice Policy released for comment today and Congress is of the view that it provides a solid future direction for justice policy in Australia,” he said.
The Congress National Justice Policy also calls for:
• the introduction of justice targets as part of the Closing the Gap strategy ;
•substantial improvements in the conditions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in police custody and prison; and
•broader funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and Family Violence Prevention Legal Services.
Read the Congress National Justice Policy here.
Read the letter to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee here.
Public comment on the policy will be open for one month. The Terms of Reference for making a submission are here.