March 27, 2014 |
Yesterday’s release by the Victorian Ombudsman of the Investigation into deaths and harm in custody report sparked widespread media coverage, including Smart Justice comment following our media release, which noted:
The broader significance of this powerful report is that we can’t afford the human and economic costs of endlessly increasing prison capacity, and we can’t build prisons fast enough to meet the demands of a State Government approach to criminal justice that is not based on evidence of what works to improve community safety.
It’s time to strengthen alternatives to prison for low-risk offenders who are not a threat, and to reserve prison for the safe containment of those who pose a genuine risk to community safety.
The following is a round-up of the main coverage, with advocates arguing against justice policies that continue to fuel a dangerous, expensive and ineffective prison system that undermines community safety. The reports show the Victorian Government continuing to insist that it “makes no apologies” for a prison system that it says would be too expensive to make compliant with all the Ombudsman’s recommendations, including the removal of hanging points.
- Prison overcrowding will lead to more deaths and violence, says Ombudsman, The Age, 27 March 2014
- Jail overcrowding in Victoria endangering prisoners, report finds, The Guardian, 26 March 2014 (Smart Justice comment)
- A new report finds Victoria’s prisons are overcrowded and underfunded, ABC TV News Victoria, 26 March 2014 (Smart Justice comment)
- Victoria’s ‘dangerous’ prisons overcrowded, underfunded: ombudsman’s report, ABC News Online, 26 March 2014 (Smart Justice comment)
- Victorian Government defends boost in prison population, ABC Radio National PM, 26 March 2014
- Victorian jails in crisis: Ombudsman, SBS News, 26 March 2014
- Vic Ombudsman says prisoners and guards at risk in overcrowded jails, ABC Radio National The World Today, 26 March 2014
- Overcrowding leads to increased prison violence, Ombudsman warns, The Herald Sun, 26 March 2014
Jesuit Social Services also responded to the Ombudsman’s report with a media release, Ombudsman’s damning report requires rethink of criminal justice system in crisis (See SBS report for quote).