Rethink Justice in WA for Healthy Families, Safe Communities, and Economic Savings

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Stories like Renna's, Aaron's, and Teresa's show that if we supported struggling people who face disadvantage, trauma, and poverty, earlier on then we could avoid them ending up in the justice system.

Our justice system operates at enormous costs, whilst early intervention, rehabilitation and diversion programs cost just a fraction of this to run, and work to resolve the underlying causes of offending.

If we resolve the underlying issues that cause offending, we can build safer communities and healthier families, at a significantly lower cost than continuing the cycle of incarceration.

Please support an effective and connected approach to justice, which makes economic and social sense for Western Australia. Commit to a Social Reinvestment WA smart justice strategy that responds to the underlying social issues that lead to crime; rather than reactionary policies which do not create sustainable change.

I ask you to advocate for this through:

1. Investing in building healthy families and safe communities instead of new prisons by:

  • Supporting and investing in community designed Justice Reinvestment initiatives and sites, such as Olabud Doogethu in Halls Creek, instead of building a new Youth Detention Centre in Kununurra.
  • Committing to invest $190 million of the next state budget (the same amount spent on Casuarina expansions) to early intervention and prevention measures above and beyond existing budgetary commitments.

2. Ending the imprisonment of vulnerable and disadvantaged persons who belong in the community:

  • Voting for fine default reform to end imprisonment of individuals for unpaid fines including:
    The introduction of a Work and Development Permit Scheme; Enabling options for people struggling to declare hardship and postpone repayments; Ensuring imprisonment can only be used to punish unpaid fines after appearance before a magistrate.  

3. Ensuring any strategy to reduce Aboriginal incarceration (as announced by the Premiers Priorities) is designed and run by and with the Aboriginal community through a true co-design process, self-determination in action. A strategy developed by Aboriginal people should lead bi-partisan support.