Just Reinvest NSW welcomes the release of The Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children (NTRC) in the Northern Territory Report, as well as the independent costing completed by Deloitte.
“The clear theme in the over 300 submissions was that we need to reform the system and reduce the number of young people being incarcerated. Justice reinvestment makes this possible”, Chair of Just Reinvest NSW Sarah Hopkins said.
“Strategic community-driven investment into localised early intervention, prevention and diversionary solutions reduces crime and builds local capacity. It is a smarter approach to justice that builds stronger communities by diverting money that would be spent on prisons into community supports and services.
“For Just Reinvest NSW, this means Aboriginal-led, community-driven initiatives to address the underlying causes of crime to prevent it from happening.
“Rather than locking up some of the most vulnerable young people in our communities right across the country, and traumatising them further, we should be addressing the underlying causes of crime to make our communities safer.”
Mick Gooda, Commissioner of the NTRC has highlighted the importance of community and early intervention. “The goal for us all must be a system that is child focused, community involved, evidence based, locally tailored and providing support for children and families as early possible,” he said in a 2017 speech to the NT Council of Social Services.
Sarah Hopkins additionally said “The issues the NTRC highlight are not unique to the Northern Territory. We want to see all tiers of the government all over Australia, take action to end the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the justice system.
“These cannot just remain recommendations. We need a holistic, community-led approach supported by all levels of the government to end the over representation of Aboriginal children and young people in the justice system.
“Right across the country we have correctional systems in place that have proven to be largely ineffective at reducing crime, while having a devastating impact on Aboriginal communities,” she said.
The Royal Commission’s report:
The speech by Mick Gooda: