Much of the conceptual space occupied by Justice Reinvestment theory suggests clear links with the theoretical framework of Social Inclusion and therein understandings of the social determinants of health. This article seeks to explore this mutually interested and unified relationship, and furthermore examine how their combined adoption in Australia would provide benefits for the general population as well as those in contact with the criminal justice system. Despite the existence of consistently strong links between social disadvantage and imprisonment, it is apparent the social determinants of health have yet to adequately address their implications for incarceration. Forming these links, this article will introduce and explore the notion of the social determinants of incarceration. Moreover, the importance of the social and economic imperatives to be realised through the adoption of Justice Reinvestment ideals will be argued, in turn providing explanation for why the coalescing of Justice Reinvestment and Social Inclusion is fundamentally important to consider. Therefore, we hope to prompt insightful questioning of our current institutional processes such as: Is investment in new prisons really investment in social exclusion?
Dr Jill Guthrie is a Research Fellow with the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at The Australian National University. Her research interests lie in the relationship between health and the criminal justice system. Professor Michael Levy is a public health physician with international and national experience in prisoner health as a clinician and researcher. He is currently Director of Justice Health in the Australian Capital Territory. Associate Professor Cressida Fforde is Deputy Director at the National Centre for Indigenous Studies at The Australian National University. Her research interests lie in the relationship between identity, discourse and the criminal justice system.