“The Productivity Commission’s review today is warning us that ‘Closing the Gap’ is going to pass us by if more urgent government action is not taken” – Mr. Jack Beetson, Chair Just Reinvest NSW
REDFERN / 7 February 2024: “The Productivity Commission’s review today is warning us that ‘Closing the Gap’ is going to pass us by if more urgent government action is not taken,” said Mr. Jack Beetson, Chair Just Reinvest NSW (JR NSW). “The priority reform areas; formal partnerships and shared decision-making, strengthening the community-controlled sector and data sharing at regional level all have key areas of improvement,” he said.
“Justice reinvestment needs to be considered more as a potential approach that could help bridge the gap and we consider data capability as a priority moving forward,” said Mr. Beetson.– Jack Beetson, Chair Just Reinvest NSW
Priority reform areas the review is critical of:
- 1 – Formal partnerships shared decision making: Just Reinvest NSW agrees that self-determination needs to be recognised by government as the ultimate goal and that government needs to invest in partnerships with adequate time and funding, and we need to be more focused on policy partnerships particularly in justice policy in order to drive change.
- 2 – Strengthening the community-controlled sector: we agree with the review’s general finding however in its call for the prioritisation of funding to ACCOs in procurement, grant or program guidelines we recommend that peak Aboriginal bodies are also prioritised for funding in support of ACCOs and other organisations implementing justice reinvestment programs.
- 4 – Shared access to data and information at a regional level: we want to add to the review’s finding that governments are not enabling Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led data. JR NSW believes that data sharing agreements need to be prioritised with ACCOs, and empowered communities, to properly undertake justice reinvestment initiatives for example. Having said that, the Data Connector program in the New South Wales Government has been proactively supporting our organisation and the issue of Aboriginal data access and sovereignty. JR NSW recommends that this program be prioritised and funded on an ongoing basis by the NSW Government as organisations such as ours continue to build our data infrastructure and capabilities in partnership with the wishes of Aboriginal communities in Mt Druitt, Moree, and Kempsey.
Just Reinvest NSW supports Aboriginal communities to explore and establish justice reinvestment initiatives and advocates for systemic changes that build safer and stronger communities.
Our goal is to reduce Aboriginal incarceration in NSW. 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’.