Crime and punishment: perspectives on community safety

Crime Justice Prisons Courts Human rights Australia

Society must ensure our community’s safety – but in the process, we inevitably walk a tightrope to avoid infringing on civil liberties. What can we do to better prevent crime from occurring in the first place? When people are accused of crimes, how can we ensure they are tried fairly and treated justly? And to what extent, if at all, should judges use discretion when they impose sentences?

In this topical event, we’ll examine the social utility of our prison system, whether prisoners have any hope of rehabilitation, and whether parole should be harder for prisoners to obtain. If not paroled, how will prisoners be supported and supervised when they ultimately re-enter the community?

Jane Dixon QC, president of Liberty Victoria, discusses these challenges with a panel of legal experts. The Hon. Robert Clark MP, attorney general of Victoria, has been a strong proponent of sentencing and parole reform. He is joined by the Hon. Justice John Coldrey, current chair of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine, and adjunct professor Peter Norden AO, a former chaplain at Pentridge prison and founder of the Brosnan Centre.

Together they outline their views on how best to ensure community safety, whether the criminal justice system is working, and what prospect offenders have for genuine rehabilitation.


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