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    'The Justice Reform Initiative is an alliance of people who share long-standing professional experience, lived experience and/or expert knowledge of the justice system, who are further supported by a movement of Australians of goodwill from across the country and across the political spectrum.

    We believe jailing is failing and that there is an urgent need to reduce the number of people in Australian prisons. We believe that the over-use of prisons is fundamentally harmful to those in prison, their family and friends, and the broader community.

    We believe that prisons are ineffective as a deterrent, ineffective at reducing crime, and ineffective at addressing the drivers of criminal justice system involvement.

    We believe that the over-use of incarceration is a waste of human potential and a misuse of taxpayer dollars.

    The evidence shows that the majority of people entering prison usually arrive there because of an underpinning cycle of disadvantage and that prison both exacerbates and entrenches a broader cycle of disadvantage, which needs to be broken.

    We believe the moment has come for change, with a combination of political, economic and social forces coalescing to create an opportunity to genuinely challenge and respond to our overreliance on incarceration – and offer up an alternative vision.'

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    'Depopulate prisons now, but then use the opportunity to think about how we can build a more effective, humane, rehabilitative system of “punishment,” one which is more healing to offenders AND to victims. "Just one single case of Covid-19 in a prison is akin to throwing a torch at the problem. The illness will, already has, spread like wildfire, endangering inmates and staff alike." But how do we transform a beast that has been integrated into our notion of justice for centuries? The good news is that, with or without Covid-19, there has always been an alternative to jails.'

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    'Unaddressed childhood trauma changes how we respond to the world and when triggered, we make choices that sometimes have devastating consequences including domestic violence, addiction, murder and prison. I, too, would have been incarcerated had I not had the privilege and support system I lucked into. Let's shift the paradigm of how we incarcerate, isolate and dehumanize the most traumatized members of our society.'

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  • Item Summary

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    'Unaddressed childhood trauma changes how we respond to the world and when triggered, we make choices that sometimes have devastating consequences including domestic violence, addiction, murder and prison. I, too, would have been incarcerated had I not had the privilege and support system I lucked into. Let's shift the paradigm of how we incarcerate, isolate and dehumanize the most traumatized members of our society.'

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    'We spend over thirteen billion dollars a year on this system in the name of public safety. In this time of pandemic, where our hospitals lack respirators, masks, and intensive care beds, the cost of our failure to create a criminal justice system focused on rehabilitation rather than punishment will be borne by the most vulnerable, both inside and outside of prison.'

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    'Rather than the isolation and violence that prison breeds, some advocates are pushing for a new approach… one based not on punishment, but on truth and reconciliation. It’s called "restorative justice," and in this podcast extra, Bob speaks with Danielle Sered, executive director of Common Justice and a pioneer of the practice. '

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    'This book provides a comprehensive evaluation of Building Bridges, a programme of restorative meetings between victims and prisoners in seven European countries. The authors first describe how participation affected victims and offenders. Then, through case studies in three countries, they frame the social-ecological contexts of the programmes, discussing the organisational and socio-political factors that influenced how these programmes were delivered and what is necessary for them to be sustained.

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