Australian Federal Budget 2022: Focus on justice reinvestment welcome start

Amnesty International Australia today welcomed the government’s commitment to its election promise to fund First Nations-led diversion programs.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers confirmed in tonight’s budget that the Federal Government would fund justice reinvestment programs to help keep kids out of the quicksand of the criminal justice system.

“The program the Labor party committed to in the lead up to the May Federal election is a welcome start in addressing the underlying causes that lead to overrepresentation of First Nations People in prison,” Amnesty International Australia Indigenous rights campaign lead, Maggie Munn, said.

“But it is only a start, a small one at that, and we will continue to demand better for our people in addressing the painful legacy of colonisation.

“All of the experts agree – kids don’t belong in prison. Prisons don’t address the causes of problematic behaviour, and they don’t reduce recidivism.

“Justice reinvestment is led by the community, for the community. Instead of failed punitive approaches, justice reinvestment is evidence-based. It embraces therapeutic and rehabilitative methods like diversion programs that address the underlying causes of problematic behaviour in children, in order to improve it – diverting them away from the criminal justice system.”

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AUSTRALIA: It’s time to fund justice that works