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New Report Says Jailing is Failing Tasmania

Published: in 🇦🇺🦘Australian News🇦🇺🦘 by .

Tasmanian politicians of all stripes have been urged to collaborate and commit to reforming the state’s archaic criminal justice system. The call comes as evidence shows building a new prison will be a step in the wrong direction at a cost of millions to taxpayers. A report released by the Justice Reform Initiative details how […]

Tasmanian politicians of all stripes have been urged to collaborate and commit to reforming the state’s archaic criminal justice system.

The call comes as evidence shows building a new prison will be a step in the wrong direction at a cost of millions to taxpayers.

A report released by the Justice Reform Initiative details how an overreliance on incarceration has reinforced a ‘revolving door’ for those who get caught in the justice system, with prisons costing Tasmanians almost $94 million a year despite evidence that there are more effective ways to reduce reoffending rates.

High-profile figures on both sides of politics, as well as the country’s most preeminent legal and judicial figures and experts, are calling on all Tasmanian candidates to acknowledge jailing is failing – entrenching cycles of disadvantage in Tasmania while devouring resources which could be spent on diversionary programs and effective community-based interventions which deliver better outcomes in terms of community safety.

The report shows that successive state governments have relied too heavily on incarceration as a default response to both disadvantage and offending:

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Justice Reform Initiative chair Robert Tickner AO called on politicians to examine the evidence and pledge to work collaboratively to implement  an evidence-based criminal justice system for all Tasmanians.

“We can’t keep making the same mistakes when all the evidence and all the research so clearly shows that jailing is failing Tasmanians,” he said. “A justice system so heavily focused on being ‘tough on crime’ rather than smart on crime is a sad throwback to the convict era.

“There are far too many people in our prisons who shouldn’t be there – people with mental health issues and disability, women who are victims of domestic violence, young people who have grown up in appalling circumstances of neglect and abuse.

“We need to build up our community-based support services and diversion programs to get these lives back on track, not build more cells and lock more people up.

“Australia is so far behind the rest of the world on this – Tasmania jails its citizens at a greater rate than comparable jurisdictions across Western Europe and Canada.”

The Justice Reform Initiative is a multi-partisan alliance supported by more than 100 eminent Australians, including two former Governors-General, former Members of Parliament from all sides of politics, academics, respected Aboriginal leaders, senior former judges, including High Court judges, and others who have added their voices to end Australia’s dangerously high reliance on jails.

Tasmanian patrons include:

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www.justicereforminitiative.org.au 

Source: Tasmanian Times https://www.tasmaniantimes.com/2021/05/new-report-says-jailing-is-failing-tasmania/#utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-report-says-jailing-is-failing-tasmania

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