A harsh criminal justice system – in particular, more prisons and people behind bars – has apparently become a hallmark of good government.
Australia has become less compassionate, more punitive and more ready to blame individuals for their alleged failings since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Citizens’ juries are one mechanism to draw on informed public opinion to guide policy.
It is claimed 'tough on crime' policies reflect public opinion, but a properly informed public, via models such as citizens' juries, is likely to arrive at different views on prison and its alternatives.
Electronic monitoring typically involves fitting offenders with tamper-proof bracelets to monitor whether they are abiding by conditions imposed on them.
The days of prison, an 18th-century industrial institution, as the justice system's dominant form of punishment may be numbered. Electronic monitoring of offenders is one promising alternative.
A NSW programme in which prisoners train stray dogs as part of their rehabilitation is one of a number of innovations adopted in recent years.
Approaches to crime that rely on punitive methods have proved to be ineffective and counter-productive. Rehabilitation programmes not only prevent crime, but are cost-effective and practical.
Rising imprisonment rates are the result of political responses to media and public agitation for tougher sentences.
Some claim rising crime rates justify jailing more people, others that such policies cut crime. Evidence from around the world shows those claims are wrong and that we should be looking at inequality.
Most of Tasmania’s relatively small prison population is housed at Risdon Prison Complex.
Wikimedia Commons/'Risdon' by Wiki ian
Imprisonment rates in Tasmania have steadily declined over the past decade -- the only state or territory where this has happened. That is a result of progressive and effective corrections policies.
Indigenous prisoners perform a welcome ceremony at the 2014 opening of Darwin’s $500 million prison, which is likely to be full by 2018.
The Northern Territory stands out for having one of the highest imprisonment rates in the world - much higher even than in the US - and it's hard to argue that this does the community much good.
Premier Colin Barnett addresses a rally outside Parliament House, the latest in a long history of protests at Indigenous deaths in custody and high rates of incarceration.
Indigenous people are jailed at a rate 18 times that of non-Aboriginal Western Australian adults, but the overall rate is high too. The great costs of this punitive approach yield few clear benefits.
Queensland’s reliance on high-security facilities to house a growing prison population may be linked to the nation’s highest rates of return for prisoners on parole.
Queensland's rates of imprisonment had been falling, but have undergone a sharp reversal - much of it driven by the nation's highest rates of return by prisoners released into the community.
Most Australian states are having to build more prisons to keep up with soaring rates of imprisonment.
In a new series on imprisonment trends, issues and policies across Australia, The Conversation asks why are imprisonment rates soaring, to what purpose, and with what financial and human consequences?
The human and financial costs to Australia of following America’s lead in imprisoning more and more people are huge.
The US is the great incarcerator, spending US$60 billion a year on prisons, and Australia is sliding down the same path. The solution? Confine jails almost exclusively to sexual and violent offenders.
Public pressure to be ‘tough’ on crime can lead governments to neglect some of our deadliest problems, such as family violence.
Queensland has a new Labor minority government, led by Annastacia Palaszczuk, after the shock defeat of the Liberal National Party. Labor’s pre-election promises were “modest”, leaving many now wondering…
A Welcome to Country ceremony opens Darwin’s new $500 million facility last month to house rising numbers of prisoners, 85% of whom are Indigenous, a grossly overrepresented group.
A number of reports, most recently Victorian and NSW crime statistics, show crime rates are falling. But as election time looms in these states, their governments’ focus on tough law-and-order policies…
You’ve bin caught.
On the night of 25 October 2013, Paul May, James Chan and William James were arrested for taking food out of the bins at an Iceland store in Kentish Town. Iceland denied they had called the police or sought…
Bandidos bike gang member Jacques Teamo, who faced court after last week’s Broadbeach brawl.
Australia has two types of bikies: Conservatives and Radicals. The Conservative lifestyle involves riding big bikes, drinking a lot, punching your mates and enemies, then falling over and sleeping it off…