The Social Reinvestment WA campaign was launched today, outlining a new approach to justice in Western Australia that would promote community safety, social wellbeing and inclusive justice for all people.
A coalition of community organisations, Social Reinvestment WA is the leading advocate in tackling the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system.
“The current ‘tough on crime’ approach is based on the false claim that it makes our community safer,” said Daniel Morrison, Social Reinvestment WA co-chair. “WA imprisons over 6,000 people a year and yet crime rates have increased. Imprisoning people in such massive numbers is doing nothing to make communities safer.
“The only way to reduce crime is to address social and economic disadvantage, which we know is the main cause of offending. We need to be tough on the causes of crime, and tackle the underlying causes of offending.”
“It costs an average of $334 per day to imprison an adult, but just $46 a day to supervise an adult in the community. Community approaches are not only more effective, they are also far less expensive.”
“In WA, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up only 3 per cent of the overall population, but 40 per cent of adults and 75 per cent of children behind bars. Our approach to this issue needs to be evidence based and responsive, not sensationalized or reactive.”
Social Reinvestment co-chair Glenda Kickett said, “we need to work for healthy families, we need to put into practice smart justice, we need to create safe communities.
“We need to see immediate reform of the ineffective laws and policies, like imprisoning people for unpaid fines, that cement a cycle of costly imprisonment at the expense of children, families, and community safety.
“We need to identify those communities that are most in need, and provide them with effective and culturally competent programs and services.
“WA can be a leader in promoting community safety, social wellbeing and inclusive justice for all people.”
For more information on Social Reinvestment WA, click here: http://www.socialreinvestmentwa.org.au/
Daniel Morrison 0409 113 438
Glenda Kickett 0409 473 712
Any media attending on the day, can contact Sophie Stewart at 0434 968 276
To download a PDF of this media release, please click here.