WHAT IS ‘JUSTICE REINVESTMENT’
Justice reinvestment is a way of reducing Aboriginal incarceration, by implementing strategies that address the drivers into the criminal justice system, led by the community and informed by data.
These strategies contribute to broader systemic reform in education, health, care, and child protection.
THE ROLE OF JUST REINVEST NSW
OUR GOAL AND APPROACH
Just Reinvest NSW (JRNSW) supports Aboriginal communities to develop their own solutions for change, making them safer and more just. Our goal is to reduce Aboriginal People’s interactions with the criminal justice system.
We do this by creating stronger and safer futures through both community-led initiatives and state-wide policy and legislative reform, redirecting funds away from systems that harm people, towards communities with high rates of contact with the justice system.
We work alongside Aboriginal communities to support place-based, community-led and data driven approaches to inform local solutions, such as devising local ‘justice circuit-breakers’. Our place-based approach feeds into our broader policy and advocacy work to create levers for change.
JRNSW brings together Aboriginal communities, government, agencies, philanthropic and private sector partners across political and cultural spectrums to leverage the justice reinvestment approach.
HOW WE OPERATE
Resources are placed in the hands of the community, funding local backbone teams, capability building and governance support, alongside strategic assistance from a supporting body. This place-based, data-driven, and community-led approach informs local solutions, and feeds into broader policy and advocacy work to create levers for change. The below graphic sets out our phased approach to place-based justice reinvestment.
Site exploration and engagement
Community engagement, data collection and identification of justice circuit breakers
Development of community strategy
Implementation of community-led strategy
Incorporation with ongoing external support from JRNSW as required
MARANGUKA: SHOWING WHAT’S POSSIBLE
In 2013, Bourke became the first major site in Australia to implement an Aboriginal-led place-based model of justice reinvestment through a collaboration between Maranguka, Bourke Tribal Council and Just Reinvest NSW.
Too many of my community were being locked up. Kids were being taken away. Families were being shattered, again and again. We decided that a new way of thinking and doing things needed to be developed that helped our children.
Alistair Ferguson (Executive Director, Maranguka)
In Bourke, ‘Maranguka’ meaning ‘caring for others’ in Ngemba language, is the first Aboriginal-led place-based model of justice reinvestment in Australia. Through the Maranguka collaboration the community devised a local strategy and developed initiatives to achieve positive social outcomes and reduce many types of offences, recidivism, and family violence. Maranguka hold quarterly Working Groups, that bring together key service providers and agencies working in Bourke to identify issues, share data and come up with coordinated solutions.
A KPMG Impact Assessment of Maranguka estimated that the changes in Bourke in 2017 achieved outcomes in areas such as:
The same report calculated that this saved the NSW economy $3.1 million through the impact of the justice system and broader local economy, that’s five times Maranguka’s operating costs in the same year.
In Moree, the Aboriginal community are coming together in a collaborative way that recognises their strengths, with a particular focus on elevating the voices of young people. The community have identified priority areas that require attention including access to education, family services, lawful bail conditions, and supporting families that are doing it tough. They have also been developing a data and evaluation framework to monitor and track progress according to community expectations.
In Mt Druitt, the Aboriginal community is also focusing on young leaders to develop their capacity to share stories and advocate for change based on their lived experience of the criminal justice system. Other areas identified in Mt Druitt that are important for the community to help keep its young people out of prison and create safer communities is the OzTag program, Mounty Yarns work, Learner Driver Mentors Program, youth support from police custody, bail project, community fines action plan and access to data.
JRNSW is currently engaging Aboriginal communities across NSW to explore more justice reinvestment initiatives like the above in Kempsey and Nowra.
MEET THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE IT HAPPEN
We began in 2011 as a coalition of more than 20 organisations and strategic initiative of the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT. Our small team are guided by an Executive of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people and supported by a network of champions, and supporters across the corporate, government and for-purpose sectors.
Please contact James Nichols,
Please contact Ashlee Wone,
Director Policy & Impact:
Please contact Ashlee Wone,
Community Engagement & Partnerships:
JRNSW office locations:
SYDNEY 45 George St. Redfern NSW 2016 | MOREE 4/96 Balo St. Moree NSW 2400 | MT DRUITT Level 1, 285-287 Beames Ave, Mt Druitt, NSW 2770
We acknowledge and pay our respects to the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which we walk, work & live._