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.
Judge Steven Alm pioneered the HOPE project, the first of scores of swift and certain sanction programmes in the US.
The success of probation programmes based on swift and certain sanctions has led to more than 160 such schemes operating in the US. Australia should consider whether the model might work here too.
Australia acknowledges the sacrifices of war veterans on commemorative occasions, but those who are charged with criminal offences can only hope the court shows understanding.
AAP/Rebecca Le May
The creation of veterans' courts could be part of a fundamental shift to a criminal justice system that genuinely tackles the causes of crime.
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.
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?
In recent times, Victoria has reverted to the punitive approach that once filled the Old Melbourne Gaol, with little thought for the long-term consequences.
Victoria was once characterised by low imprisonment rates and innovative corrections policy. The state now has Australia's highest rate of growth in imprisonment.
Prisoners took control of Strangeways for 25 days.
Suicide, bullying and drugs continue to plague the penal system despite promises of change.