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Keep up to date with the latest news from Smart Justice

New Factsheet: Reducing drug-related crime

People in prison for drug-related offences do not always receive timely, targeted, effective and on-going drug treatment. The Smart Justice approach to reducing drug-related crime is tackling the underlying factors that contribute to offending through increased investment in effective, tailored drug treatment and mental health programs as well as family support, housing, employment and education. Download the Factsheet.

Updated Factsheet on mandatory sentencing

We've updated this Factsheet to reflect a change in the Road Safety Act (1986) Vic. Anyone who has been found guilty for a second time of driving while disqualified or suspended no longer faces a mandatory minimum of one month’s imprisonment. Download the Factsheet.

Reports and Resources

More Victorians going to prison - and for longer
Sentencing Advisory Council (Victoria)

A new report from the Sentencing Advisory Council has found that Victoria’s prison population has increased by nearly 40% over the last 10 years. The report says that the increase is due to a combination of factors such as increased prison sentence length, increased use of custodial sentences in the higher courts as well as increases in certain types of offences.

Growing imprisonment rates an expensive non-solution to community safety
Smart Justice Media Release

The continued growth in Victoria’s imprisonment rate will potentially worsen under law-and-order measures yet to come on stream and it's time for an urgent re-think on how to stop crime.

Community safety not served by Budget prison boost
Smart Justice Media Release

The 2013/14 Victorian State Budget has again focused on extending the prison system - an expensive approach to crime that will fail to boost community safety and will divert urgently needed funds from programs addressing the causes of crime.

Budget fails to invest in addressing youth crime
Smart Justice for Young People Media Release

This year's State Budget does not invest in alternatives to prison that enhance community safety by addressing the causes of and reducing youth offending.

Police inquiry into racial profiling
Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre

Victoria Police is holding a public inquiry examining racial profiling in police stop and search practices as a condition of an out of court settlement in a racial discrimination claim. The discussion paper is due for release on 1 June 2013. The inquiry will complete its report  by 31 December 2013. More information about the inquiry should be available from the Victoria Police website on 1 June.

Comparing Sentencing Outcomes for Koori and Non-Koori Adult Offenders in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
Sentencing Advisory Council

SAC's report finds that Indigenous people sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria are more likely to receive a term in prison, rather than an order supervised in the community, than their non-Indigenous counterparts.

Reinvestment in diversion
Smart Justice for Young People

Smart justice for Young People’s submission to the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs’ inquiry: ‘Value of a justice reinvestment approach to criminal justice in Australia’. Other submissions are available here. The Committee is due to release its report on 20 June 2013.


Top Media

Corrections policy fails for want of proper care
Opinion, The Age, 29 April 2013
An editorial questioning the level of care afforded to people in jail who have undiagnosed cognitive impairments.

Inquiry into prevention not prison
Lateline, ABC, 16 April 2013
A Senate Inquiry in Western Australia will investigate the potential for justice reinvestment, which involves spending money on crime prevention rather than on building prisons.

Unease at inner city policing
ABC News, ABC, 5 April 2013
Coverage by 7.30 Victoria on the decision by the Victorian Supreme Court which failed to uphold the right to the independent investigation of allegations of human rights breaches by Victoria Police.

Hold grog industry to account for youth crime, charities say
Barney Zwartz, The Age, 10 April 2013
Children's Court President calls for investment in early intervention and prevention in youth offending

Justice should aim to make lives better
Rob Hulls, Herald Sun, 26 March 2013
As jails fast become warehouses for people with mental health, intellectual disability and cognitive impairment issues, a former Attorney- General advocates for therapeutic approaches to offending behaviour.
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