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LIV calls for parties to commit to justice reinvestment programs and better support for young people

LIV calls for parties to commit to justice reinvestment programs and better support for young people

By LIV Media

Advocacy Communication Justice 

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The LIV is calling for all parties to commit to justice reinvestment programs and better support for young people.

Victoria’s prison population exceeds 7300, and its imprisonment rate is at its highest in more than 100 years despite a consistent downward trend in crime rates.

Recent analysis on investment returns in youth programs in remote central Australia have found that every dollar invested generated a return of between $3.48 and $4.56. Young people are over-represented in the justice system, and their recidivism rate is higher than that of the general population. Lawyers in Schools programs improve legal awareness and facilitate access to legal services for young people.

The LIV has consistently advocated for the introduction of justice reinvestment schemes, being an active member of the Smart Justice initiative, as well as standing against strengthening mandatory sentencing laws, which prevent judges and magistrates from considering diversionary or rehabilitative sentencing responses.

LIV president Belinda Wilson says that justice reinvestment, particularly youth engagement programs, are crucial in breaking the cycle of recidivism.

“The LIV endorses justice reinvestment programs as part of the Sentencing Act 1991, that invest in rehabilitation and address underlying criminal justice issues to reduce offending rates and increase community safety” she said.

The LIV is calling for:

  • transitional support services for people leaving Victoria’s corrections system
  • a commitment to legislate a regime for spent convictions in Victoria to prevent discrimination based on past offending
  • funding for community legal service providers and Victoria Legal Aid to resource a statewide expansion of lawyers in school programs, with a focus on rural and regional areas
  • strengthening cultural support plans for Aboriginal children in out of home care, through increased education services, increased collaborative decision making and engagement with Aboriginal communities, to safeguard the cultural rights of Indigenous children
  • dedicated education and resources for sporting authorities on new child safety and working with children laws.

Read the government, the Coalition Opposition and the Greens responses to the 10 priorities identified in the LIV’s Call to Parties here.


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