Youth crime analysis

Current stage 2008-9

Young people are our future, so when they turn down the path of deviancy it is our responsibility to pick them up and get them on the right track. If we invest in the interests of our children it will make our communities brighter places in times to come.

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Therapeutic Communities

Therapeutic communities with restorative justice and mentoring are effective
solutions to community problems. Our own experience of positive responses to
trust and sharing are entirely applicable in the area of crime. The Alexander
Maconochie’s Norfolk Island experience, Jimmy Boyle’s story of the Barlinnie
Unit in Scotland, and the Special Care Unit in Long Bay are documented
examples of how they work effectively.

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HRMU segregation analysis

Close the HRMU!

Justice Action proposes a community inspection of the unit. This analysis shows why its use should be seen as torture and better ways of dealing with those prisoners in it. supermax info leaflet 204kb

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Prisoner Voting Rights_310807

FofE.jpgVoting Rights for Prisoners report 2/07

In Aug 2004 Federal Parliament restricted the right to vote in Federal elections to those serving sentences of three years or less.

Now the coalition has barred all prisoners from voting in federal elections with the introduction in late 2006 of the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Electoral Integrity and Other Measures) Act.

There is no evidence that disenfranchising prisoners deters crime or assists in rehabilitation. It is more likely to increase alienation and disengagement from mainstream society and any sense of civic responsibility.

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Mental health prisoners

Mental Health Act/Forensic provisions government review current NSW 3/07

Generally speaking, forensic prisoners exist in a sort of limbo between 'involuntary patient' and 'convicted prisoner' that in practice often results in them getting the worst of both worlds.

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JA mental illness policy

Justice Action believes that there are serious failings in the way public policy addresses mental illness in our society

We believe the single greatest cause of distress and difficulty; to the greatest proportion of those living with mental illness, is the way our society responds to them.

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Age of Responsibility

Youth and Juvenile Justice

"Children who came directly under the power of the state for their own protection (state wards)... are now the largest per capita group in our juvenile jails (and hence, our adult jails)."

Classification of Children Offenders
One of the most difficult areas of criminal justice policy lies in providing appropriate legal mechanisms to reflect the transition from the age of innocence through to maturity and full responsibility under the criminal law.

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Inspector General

Save the Inspector General

The Department of Corrective Services is unique in that it is the only Department in which the government has total control over its citizens.

This requires extra care to ensure that the extraordinary powers are not abused. It is necessary for there to be correspondingly extraordinary accountability, safeguards and specialist knowledge. The trend in other states is to maintain an office of Inspector General.


Save the Inspector General - Response to Review

Save the Inspector General - Submission

Prison boom will prove a social bust

January 18, 2005
Hardened criminals are not filling NSW's prisons - the mentally ill and socially disadvantaged are, writes Eileen Baldry.

The NSW Premier, Bob Carr, proudly announced last Thursday that this state has more than 9000 of its citizens in prison, a record number and one equal to almost half of all prisoners in Australia. Far from being proud of this, Carr should be deeply ashamed. The 50 per cent increase in prisoners over the past decade is a clear indication of failure on the part of government to deal effectively with serious social problems.

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Prisoners Legal Service Review

Justice Action was asked to respond to the Federal Government's Prisoners Legal Service Review. The following is the JA Submission


Thank you for giving Justice Action the opportunity to make submissions in relation to the current review of the Prisoners Legal Service.

We offer the following comments and recommendations and would genuinely like the opportunity to make a further submission directed more at the present effectiveness of the PLS. In order for us to do that we ask that we be provided with a current overview of the present PLS workings including any specific annual/monthly reports.

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Safe Cells

Safe cells are used for prisoners at risk of self-harm or suicide and are used to keep prisoners under constant visual observation. A CHS nurse described these as unfit for dogs. Justice Action has successfully lobbied for a review of these cells and has been involved in ongoing discussion with CHS about their use.


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Justice Action
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4 Goulburn Street
Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

T 02 9283 0123
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E ja@justiceaction.org.au
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