Smart Justice seeks to Counter the Law and Order Auction

MEDIA RELEASE

Thursday 27 May 2010

SMART JUSTICE SEEKS TO COUNTER THE LAW AND ORDER AUCTION

The community is not well served if election-fuelled debate about law and order becomes an auction about who can be tougher on crime, according to a coalition of legal and community organisations.

The Smart Justice coalition has vast experience working in the criminal justice system with both victims and offenders.

Spokesperson Hugh de Kretser said solutions to reducing crime were complex.

“We are concerned that the public may only hear one side of the argument during the heated election period – that more police, new offences and tougher sentences are the way to tackle crime. We want to inform the public about what works, what is cost effective and how we can reduce crime without violating Victorians’ human rights,” Mr de Kretser said.

A coalition of legal and community organisations, led by the Federation of Community Legal Centres, has come together to promote understanding of criminal justice policies.

Smart Justice seeks to enhance the safety of all Victorians by promoting understanding of criminal justice policies that are effective, evidence-based and compliant with human rights.

Legal and community supporters will seek to provide information and facts about the criminal justice system, law and order, sentencing and other justice issues. The program aims include enhanced support for victims of crime; greater resources to address the causes of crime and repeat offending; sentencing options that address the causes of offending and greater focus on crime prevention.

Smart Justice has been made possible with funding support from the Victoria Law Foundation and the Reichstein Foundation.

Supporters include VCOSS, LIV, VicBar, Liberty Victoria, Salvation Army, Victorian Alcohol and Drugs Association, Youth Affairs Council of Victoria, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Uniting Church Justice and International Mission, Flat Out, Jesuit Social Services, Bridge of Hope Foundation, Catholic Social Services, Youth Substance Abuse Service and the Centre for Human Rights of Imprisoned People, and Anglicare Victoria.

The Smart Justice website and factsheets are at: www.smartjustice.org.au

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