Posted on 26 November 2012

Justice Reinvestment inquiry lays groundwork for a new direction for Australian justice

The Congress Co-Chairs today welcomed the Senate inquiry to investigate the implementation of Justice Reinvestment in Australia.

“We wrote to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee in October requesting they investigate Justice Reinvestment especially in relation to dealing with the substantial over-representation of our people in the justice system,” said Congress Co-Chair Jody Broun.

“We know that Justice Reinvestment has successfully reversed incarceration rates and saved millions of dollars in the USA. Now this Inquiry has been approved we can start to see how it can be applied in Australia,” she said.

Congress Co-Chair Les Malezer said the time is right to take this important step.

“Congress believes that Justice Reinvestment provides a solid future direction for justice policy in Australia and it is one of the key recommendations of our recently released justice policy.

“This Inquiry can look into its feasibility and the mechanisms by which it can be implemented into justice policy across Australia,” he said.

The Inquiry is supported by other leading advocacy groups including Congress member organisation, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS).

“For our communities to be safer we need to start investing more resources in prevention and early intervention strategies such as Justice Reinvestment,” said NATSILS Chair, Shane Duffy.

Co-Chair Malezer encouraged organisations and individuals concerned about administration of justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to respond to this Inquiry with their submissions and representations.

“The opportunity for effecting significant change in the incarceration of our people and social development for our communities should not be neglected,” he said.

Information about the Inquiry is on the Committee’s website here.