Journal article

Investment in prisons: an investment in social exclusion?

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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.



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