Jailing Is Failing
Australia’s very high imprisonment rate has social and economic costs, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bearing the most burden. Incarceration does not reduce reoffending but can add to the trauma that leads to crime.
Experts agree that incarceration should be a last resort and in Parliament I supported the Justice Reform Initiative call for action to reduce imprisonment.
The disproportionate incarceration of First Nations people across all cohorts including children and women prevents us meeting our Closing the Gap targets. I again urged the government to introduce a specialist Walama Court, where intensive sentencing and post sentencing processes involving Elders and respected community members help reduce recidivism while addressing the underlying causes of offending. I also called for the age of criminal responsibility to rise from 10 years.
It’s time for an evidence-based approach to deal with the social challenges that lead to offending. My speech: > HERE.