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Issue 8: Crime and Justice. . .

Issue 8: Crime and Justice


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Victoria remains trapped in a ‘tough on crime’ cycle, driven by imprecise or often misleading evidence and political imperatives.This edition of Insight explores how the scales of justice are weighted against those who are most vulnerable, and how we can restore the balance.

In this edition


Carolyn Atkins, Acting VCOSS CEO
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Myths, misinformation and missed opportunities

We should want to prevent crime, not just punish it. Hugh de Kretser says there is no excuse for the failure of governments to act on crime prevention when there is no shortage of evidence about what works.
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In Conversation
Q&A with Victoria’s Attorney General, the Hon. Robert Clark

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Statistics, crime and politics

After decades of advocacy, the Victorian Government has announced funding to establish a ‘crime statistics agency’. Emeritus Professor Arie Freiberg explains why such a body is so important to a system of justice and what it should do.
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Youth justice: getting the early years right

Victoria’s approach to juvenile justice has resulted in low rates of young people offending and in detention. However, says former Children’s Court Judge Paul Grant, it needs better court-based diversion, better bail support and more Koori Children’s Courts if it is to deliver real justice to young people.
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Tough on crime is not smart on crime

United States Judge Peggy Hora has seen the impact of ‘tough on crime’ policies in California, which not only breach the US constitution but fundamentals of justice and rehabilitation.
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Time to arrest rising Aboriginal prison rates

Thanks in large part to the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement, Victoria’s Aboriginal imprisonment rate remains lower than the national average. But, warns Professor Chris Cunneen, tougher penalties are having a disproportionate rate on Aboriginal Victorians and pushing up rates.
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Victoria’s Aboriginal Justice Agreements

Q&A with Andrew Jackomos, Director of the Koori Justice Unit.
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Disabling justice

Our prisons are packed with people with mental and cognitive impairments. Professor Eileen Baldry offers alaerming insights into how they are failed before and after they become enmeshed in the criminal justice system.
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Thinking outside: alternatives to remand for children

Children in remand are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our community. Julie Boffa and Michael Livingstone outline the findings of a major new report by Jesuit Social Services on their experiences and the reforms needed to legislation, policy and practice.
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Hearing the voices of young people

Victoria’s Children and Young People’s Commissioner Bernie Geary OAM outlines the growing role of the Independent Visitor Program in providing independent ‘eyes and ears’ on the experience of young people in custody in the state.
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Justice reinvestment: the circuit breaker?

The term Justice Reinvestment was first coined only 10 years ago but has since shot to prominence in the US, UK and now Australia. Professor David Brown outlines the principles, practice and politics.
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The role of out-of-home care in criminal justice outcomes

Children and young people in out-of-home care have experienced profound trauma and face a lifetime of consequences. Che Stockley looks and where and how out-of-home care and schools can step in to break the nexus.
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New risks in family violence reforms

Victoria has led the way nationally on family violence reform but, warns Alison MacDonald, the momentum has stalled and is putting women and children at risk.
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An end to racial profiling in sight

In a landmark settlement, Victoria Police this year opened a public inquiry into stamping out racial profiling in police practices. Anthony Kelly outlines the case and its implications.
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