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Policy & Advocacy

“We have long championed community-led justice reinvestment as the key to addressing the over incarceration of First Nations people.”

Prof Tom Calma AO (Champion of Just Reinvest NSW) and Mick Gooda (Former Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner and Former Co-Chair of Just Reinvest NSW)

Our agenda

We believe communities have and should lead the solutions. We are passionate about elevating the lived experiences of our community members in our push for broader systems change and the fight for justice. The goal of our policy and advocacy is to push the levers of change to address the underlying drivers of crime and in doing so, shift the power to communities to lead their own solutions.

A Justice Reinvestment Framework for NSW

A justice reinvestment approach underpinned by community led, place based, data driven solutions and focused on supporting people before issues arise will deliver better social and economic outcomes for NSW.

This includes a call for:

  • Funding to support community-led justice reinvestment initiatives and the establishment of an independent justice reinvestment body to provide on-the-ground support and data for community-led justice reinvestment initiatives
  • Implementation of policy and legislative reforms to reduce the prison population and free up resources for reinvestment in communities
  • A ‘reinvestment’ funding model that provides long-term funding for community-led solutions and shifts resources away from the harmful and ineffective prison system.

Our systems change priority areas

We know contact with the criminal justice system is driven by a lack of support in other areas of a young person’s life. We are advocating for key reforms to address the underlying drivers of crime and believe crime prevention is a more efficient and effective investment. We use our place-based work led by communities to inform our advocacy at the state level and are working towards systems change in the following strategic priority areas:

  • Expanding police community partnerships
  • Addressing school exclusions
  • Smarter orders
  • Rethinking youth justice
  • Pre and post release support.

The ground-breaking work of Maranguka and our community teams in Moree and Mt Druitt is also driving critical service sector reform to deliver better outcomes for their communities at the local level.

Developing a mechanism for ‘reinvestment’

Each justice reinvestment initiative is unique to the community that’s putting it in place, so there will never be one fixed way to shift funding from the criminal justice system to communities. Just Reinvest NSW in partnership with the communities we support is working with economists, lawyers, accountants, academics, philanthropists and the NSW Government to explore what long-term reinvestment models could work in NSW. At a broad level, reinvestment is:

  • A smarter way to fund ‘justice’ by taking a preventative approach rather than a punitive one.
  • Moving from crisis to prevention, shifting the focus upstream to prevent problems downstream.
  • Supporting self-determination by providing flexible long-term funding for community-led change initiatives that are collaborative, place-based and data-driven.

The below graphic outlines how community-led ‘reinvestment’ may occur:

Submissions & Policy Papers