The Committee’s report investigates the drivers behind the growth in Australia’s imprisonment rates, the social and economic costs and consequences of imprisonment, and the benefits of a justice reinvestment approach to address these issues. The report also considers the over-representation of disadvantaged groups in Australian prisons, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people experiencing mental ill-health.
The majority report of the Committee makes a series of recommendations on the role that can be played by the Commonwealth government in promoting a justice reinvestment approach in Australia. These recommendations include ensuring long term sustainable funding, the identification of relevant data required, a trial using a place-based approach, and the establishment of an independent central body to play a coordinating role among states and territories.
BEN SCHOKMAN, Human Rights Law Centre, Melbourne.