Law and Order

 

crime scene do not cross signage
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Delays between the assessment of crime events and court response need to be minimised. The Coroner’s Court needs full resourcing, as do other Courts. There needs to be prompt access to psychological, psychiatric and alcohol and drug assessment with reports being provided in a timely manner to a well resourced adequate court system staffed by sufficient numbers of experienced magistrates.  Demands on Police need to be reasonable with adequate resourcing so that those accused are processed without delay.  Frequently Courts deem they should provide a deterrent to future crime, any delays in court processing reduce the effect of this deterrent and cause additional stress for victims and their families.

Any Victims of Crime payments need to be free from assessment by Centrelink so that payments can be used for emotional, psychological and health support of the victim.  Where possible and acceptable defendants should be able to make attempts at restorative justice to the community via Community Corrections, and/or to the victim and their families.

Asset and income seizure from participants in crime needs to be an integral part of the criminal processing response.  With assets and income seized as soon as possible after the crime scene response.  These can be held, and then transferred to the healthcare  system, to avoid any negative judgement toward policing and Court responses.

Minority communities, including GLBTI and other diverse groups need to be involved in supportive correctional activities.  Consideration needs to be given to appointing Honorary Probation Officers who receive training and a moderate stipend to link with minority communities and provide individual mentoring, accountability and reporting of breaches. Actual breaching would be reviewed by Correctional Services before  a decision to breach was made.  Community Correctional services officers should receive training in the best ways to engage with and resource families,

First nations peoples and other communities which may feature significantly in the correctional population from time to time.  Crimes of poverty, where there may be homelessness, fare evasion, non voting in elections, illegal camping etc. where poverty is demonstrable should not attract custodial sentences. Sufficient resources need to be devoted to people with acquired brain injury or intellectual disability.

These efficiencies will allow the rehabilitative actions of the sentencing and correctional service to impact the guilty person sooner and with greater certainty.  Correctional Services need sure and certain oversight of a broad range of diversion programs (including where a suspended sentence and/or home detention is specified).  Community Correction needs to take into account environmentally sustainable activities.  Buildings used as offices or prisons need to be fully compliant with environmentally sustainable practices. All buildings should be easily accessible for disabled and aged persons with caring service personnel for the sick and mentally ill.

Prison industries need to include processing of e-waste, building wastes, food wastes and other waste recycling to lessen the costs for the wider community.  Prison industries should also be skills oriented with appropriate qualification or certification of those completing programs.  These can also be integrated into Parole and early release programs.  Those on parole should receive appropriate levels of surveillance, support and health and accommodation services.  The use of specified neighbourhoods or neighbourhood streets should be avoided, so as not to replicate “in prison connections or networks.”

In any part of the judicial or correctional system where charities or NGOs are involved they should be sufficiently resourced and funded so that gaps in the service do not occur.

There should be a five yearly review of all aspects of policing, judicial and correctional systems in addition to the usual Auditor General reviews.  Full community consultation, especially with victims and their families, and fhe families of offenders should be part of this five yearly review.