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Breaking the Prison Cycle

Sarah Hopkins Chair of Just Reinvest NSW and Just Reinvest Champion and Weave Youth & Community Services Advocate Keenan Mundine feature in this months Law Society Journal. The feature also talks about the pilots underway in NSW in Bourke and Cowra.

“Justice reinvestment offers a rational, long-term solution to curb soaring costs in the NSW criminal justice system,” writes Kate Allman.

The article contrasts Keenan’s story and experience with the criminal justice system together with an alternative approach: Justice Reinvestment.  “Let’s take money out of the planned new detention centres and create community-based programs that can address these issues.” Keenan Mundine said.

Sarah Hopkins explains how the current criminal justice system is working. “According to BOCSAR, the average prison sentence in NSW is 10 months. You are taken out of your community and because your sentence is short, you have little or no access to pre- and post-release programs. Then you are just dumped back into the community, so you have the exact same problems as those that sent you in there in the first place.”

“It’s so easy to paint all this as a soft on crime approach, but it’s the opposite of that,” says Hopkins. “It’s thinking, ‘How can we be hard on crime by preventing it happening in the first place?’”

The feature is focused on the idea that Justice Reinvestment is a solution that has been proven to work internationally and currently Just Reinvest NSW has “formed an idea for the ‘Australianisation’ of justice reinvestment, particularly with a view to addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in prison and particularly Aboriginal children and young people.”

Read the full story here:

Ending the Cycle of Recidivism

8th of August 2016

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