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‘Justice Reinvestment’ Children’s Conference – a Resource Most Precious Thursday 28 th November 2013 Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia.

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Presentation on theme: "‘Justice Reinvestment’ Children’s Conference – a Resource Most Precious Thursday 28 th November 2013 Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia."— Presentation transcript:

1 ‘Justice Reinvestment’ Children’s Conference – a Resource Most Precious Thursday 28 th November 2013 Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Western Australia Presented by Tammy Solonec Director, Chamber 3

2 The Experience – from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective

3 The Experience (Nationally) Nationally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 15 times more likely to be incarcerated people are 23 times more likely to be hospitalised for assault women are 35 times more likely more likely to be hospitalised for assault youth are 24 times more likely to be in detention children are 10 times more likely to be a ward of the state (currently making up 33% of all kids in care)

4 Adult Imprisonment by Indigeneity

5 The Experience (WA) In Western Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 39.9% of the prison population (1981 inmates) youth made up 78.8% of juvenile incarceration youth made up 81% of Juvenile Justice Orders children made up 45% of those in protective care “There are clear links between children in child protection, becoming youth in juvenile detention, becoming adults in prison.”

6 Underlying Causal Factors Historical Reasons, for example see: The 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody; The 1995 ‘Bringing Them Home’ Report on the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from Their Families; and The 2010 Australian Country Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya. Multiple Contemporary Disadvantage, including overrepresentation in regards to substance abuse, auditory hearing loss, cognitive and/or mental disability, low literacy levels, family or domestic violence, being a ward of the state; and being poor. Disproportionate impact of a ‘tough on crime’ approach to justice including mandatory sentencing, targeting, overregulation and discrimination by law makers and law enforcers.

7 Targeting the Vulnerable The following groups of people are overrepresented in the criminal justice system: those affected by substance abuse; those with auditory hearing loss; those with a cognitive and/or mental disability (including foetal alcohol disorder syndrome); those who have received limited formal education; those who have been the victim of family or domestic violence; those who were a ward of the state (including members of the Stolen Generations); those who are poor.

8 What is Justice Reinvestment?

9 Justice Reinvestment in the USA Emerged in USA in 2003 George Soros Open Society Institute, in a 2003 report entitled “Ideas for an Open Society: Justice Reinvestment" Coordinated by the Justice Center, an organisation within the Council of State Governments, a national nonprofit organisation that serves policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels from all branches of government Consider the Texas experience: Jerry Madden, former Chairman of the Texas House of Representatives Corrections Committee and Senior Fellow with Right On Crime discusses how investment in crime prevention has worked in Dallas, Texas (10 minute video)

10 The Australian Context

11 Australian Human Rights Commission Justice Reinvestment is … “a criminal justice policy approach that diverts a portion of the funds that will be spent on imprisonment to local communities where there is a high concentration of offenders. The money that might be spent on imprisonment is reinvested in programs and services that address the underlying causes of crime in these communities.” Tom Calma, 2009 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner

12 What Justice Reinvestment IS NOT JR does not advocate for reduced police intervention in cases of violence JR is not a top down approach driven by Government JR does not mean that incarceration is no longer an option

13 The Steps to Justice Reinvestment 1.Analysis and Mapping 2.Development of options to generate savings and improve local communities 3.Quantify savings and reinvest in high needs communities 4.Measure and evaluate impact

14 Challenges to implementation Our Federal System of Government Data Collection Tough on Crime Rhetoric Geography & Remoteness Identifying High-Risk Communities

15 Senate Inquiry Recommendations Report released on 20 June 2013 had the following recommendations: that the Commonwealth take a lead role in data collection and sharing, that long term sustainable funding be committed to Justice Reinvestment, the establishment of a Justice Reinvestment clearinghouse, that the Commonwealth take a leadership role through COAG, that the Commonwealth fund some trials for Justice Reinvestment, including in a remote Aboriginal community, that the Standing Committee on Law and Justice promote the establishment of an independent central coordinating body, and that justice targets be included as part of Close the Gap framework. Government must respond to the Inquiry. Unsure when this will happen.

16 The Australian Greens Led by Senator Penny Wright Instrumental in obtaining the Senate Inquiry National Centre for Justice Reinvestment Funding a Justice Reinvestment Grants See es/greens.org.au/files/Justic e_Reinvestment_Initiative.pd f. es/greens.org.au/files/Justic e_Reinvestment_Initiative.pd f

17 Just Reinvest NSW Sophisticated campaign focused on lobbying for a JR framework in NSW, with a particular emphasis on Aboriginal young people Website: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeReinvestmentforAboriginalYoungP eople?fref=ts Campaign video:

18 Where to from here? UNSW ARC-funded Australian Justice Reinvestment National research project investigating the characteristics of JR. Draws together senior researchers across the disciplines of law and criminology to examine JR programs in other countries and analyse whether they can be developed in Australia. Melanie Schwartz tips from USA: Have very clear aims Balance the involvement of government, experts and community Ensure broad representation of stakeholders around the table Timeframe for JR programs should be long enough assess results Build in independent evaluation of JR programs to collect up lessons learned and guide future directions. See

19 Justice Reinvestment in WA Early support from WA Labor MLA Paul Papalia (2010) Deaths in Custody Watch Committee campaign, ‘build communities not prisons’ Justice Reinvestment Coalition formed (mainly NGOs), but then disbanded Support of CJ Wayne Martin & Justice Antoinette Kennedy Support from Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan Lack of Government by-in A trial remote community?


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