2 August 2013

MEDIA STATEMENT

ALSWA supports Greens stance on Justice Reinvestment 

2 August 2013

  

Photo: ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington and Greens Senator Rachel Siewert

The Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA) supports the Greens plan to establish a National Centre for Justice Reinvestment in a bid to end the excessive incarceration rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington said the current justice system had systemically failed Indigenous people dismally and the Government had a responsibility to tackle the crisis at hand.

“I am at a loss to understand why Justice Reinvestment has not been embraced in this country, because it has had so many positive results internationally.  The prisons and courts are full of our people and we’ve reached crisis point so this matter needs to be addressed urgently.  What’s important to remember is that locking people up in prison doesn’t make communities safer, but a Justice Reinvestment model would create safer communities”.

ALSWA has long advocated strongly in support of Justice Reinvestment, a cost effective approach which would see funds redirected to prevention and early intervention programs and services in communities where there is a high concentration of offenders.

“Prison is an expensive option and there are too many people imprisoned who should not be there in the first place.  The Greens proposal for an annual Justice Reinvestment Grant Program is a smart move in the right direction for seeking long term rehabilitative results. Families and communities will be empowered and strengthened when programs are embraced which tackle the underlying causes of offending, and that is something that will benefit all Australians”.

ALSWA’s Justice Reinvestment’ documentary is in it’s final stages of production and will be launched later this year.