Prison Recidivism: The way forward

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Prison Recidivism: The way forward 

One of the major failures of the present prison system is the high level of reoffending by released prisoners called recidivism. The Community Justice Coalition has addressed the problem and made recommendations which will ultimately save billions of dollars in the cost of the system.

After a year’s research including consultation with judicial and political figures, as well as with prisoners themselves, the Community Justice Coalition has developed a Paper linked here. This has now been distributed to all Australian Attorneys-General, Ministers and Shadow Ministers for Corrections and Commissioners of Corrective Services, with the request that they implement the Recommendations.

With imprisonment costing $360 per person per day, the failure to stop reoffending is not only a high social cost due to the illicit activity, but also a very large economic cost. Our paper finds that prison itself is a significant factor in recidivism, increasing the likelihood of reoffending compared with non-custodial sentencing.

It is recommended that a system of earned early release be implemented, encouraging prisoners to use their time productively.

The provision of computers in cells with access to secure white-listed web pages is highlighted as a key recommendation. This will provide prisoners opportunities to access counselling and educational programs as well as gain skills for future employment. They can also do work in their personal time to earn money through which they can repay victims and maintain their families.

Access to housing, social support and drug rehabilitation programs all feature in this Paper to deal with the current failures of the justice system.


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