Smart Justice



‘Smart justice’ means embracing the policies that we know to be effective: early intervention, diversion, and rehabilitation. It involves recognising that systemic racism, entrenched poverty and other forms of disadvantage work together to produce crime.

'Smart justice’ also means justice reinvestment: the government should divert funding from prisons toward community-based investments that deal with the underlying causes of crime, such as drug dependency and poverty. Employment, healthcare and education have much more long-term value to the community than more and larger prisons.

Advisory Council

Smart Justice is a coalition of over 60 organisations who campaign for a fairer justice system and a society where everyone can belong, participate, heal and thrive. The Federation has been leading this coalition for over ten years recognising that the changes we need to achieve are deep and systemic.

Ultimately the Advisory Council is committed to creating a fairer justice system and will inform the strategic direction of the campaigns that the Federation runs. From 2019 - 2023 the key purpose for the Advisory Council is to oversee “Free Our Sisters, Free Our Kids”, a five-year campaign to free ten thousand women and children from the quicksand of Victoria’s criminal justice system. This campaign puts forward an ambitious vision for systemic change that can only be achieved through collective impact. The Advisory Council is a key space for us to build and shape that collective impact, acting as a space in which we can come together to collaborate and to advise on particular actions and lobbying efforts.

The Advisory Council is comprised of passionate members with a diversity of skills representing a rich cross-section of society, ranging from senior criminal lawyers, experienced campaigners, community organisers and experts with lived experience.

Read about Advisory Council Members here.


Media Contact

Media organisations seeking comment on Smart Justice issues should contact:

Federation of Community Legal Centres (Vic)
T: 03 9652 1500

The views expressed in Smart Justice media releases and media comment do not necessarily reflect the views of the individual Smart Justice partner organisations.



Smart Justice is supported by a coalition of organisations led by the Federation of Community Legal Centres (Victoria) Inc, the peak body for Victoria’s 50 community legal centres.

The organisations involved in Smart Justice have a vast array of experience working in the criminal justice system with those affected by it: victims, offenders and others. We know the impact of crime and we are passionate about promoting safe and vibrant communities. That’s why we support Smart Justice.

Smart Justice was made possible with funding support from the Reichstein Foundation, Portland House Foundation, Australian Communities Foundation (Peter Griffin Family) Fund and the Myer Foundation.





Smart Justice acknowledges the support of each member centre at the Federation of Community Legal Centres and would like to acknowledge the specialist support from the following centres:




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