Media Release Thursday November 19, 2015
None of the twenty-six submissions to the Parliamentary Inquiry support the action of Corrections Minister David Elliott in creating a ‘living dead’ status, under pressure from the media. The victims’ organisations support offender rehabilitation programs, want respect for prisoners’ human rights and increased funding for victims. Most submissions (analysis) criticised the information provided to victims and said the situation need not have occurred.
This public contradiction provides a chance to solve difficult questions around crime. Media commercial interests and political vulnerability have distorted justice policy to give unwanted vengeance to victims instead of solving the problems. The same pressures have created chaos with an exploding prison population despite falling crime rates.
This stark exposure of structural defects provides a chance for the adoption of Justice Reinvestment principles. The people with ‘standing’ have spoken. Intensive correctional orders with electronic monitoring should accompany the closing of prisons. The money saved should be spent equally upon victims and offenders, going to where the problems are in the community. Multinational prison companies must not be allowed to build isolated housing, incubating crime, and costing $100,000 a year a prisoner whilst sapping much needed services.
Restorative Justice as shown by the SBSTV Insight program provides a human way to atone and heal our community even in the worst cases.