ALSWA Submission to the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee
of the WA Legislative Assembly – April 2010
In this submission, ALSWA calls on the Western Australian Government to reform its approach to criminal justice by engaging in Justice Reinvestment initiatives aimed at reducing offending, rather than simply incarcerating offenders. ALSWA notes that some appropriate work programmes exist in various prisons but that overcrowding and limited opportunities severely limit the accessibility and success of these programmes. Additionally, there is an absence of culturally appropriate rehabilitation facilities and programmes that address issues such as substance misuse and domestic violence and contribute to reducing recidivism. This not only fails to assist offenders but also results in fewer options being available to the courts and consequently higher rates of imprisonment and remand.
The submission notes strategies for reducing recidivism such as Aboriginal Community Courts and Justice Reinvestment and touches on deplorable prison conditions including overcrowding and the impact that these have on the health and welfare of prisoners.