Ombudsman deaths in custody investigation in the media

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.

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).