Defined Terms

Jail Incarceration is a failed costly Deterrent to committing crimes

Recidivism among prisoners is the rate that released prisoners return to prison.  Across Australia, 46.4% of prisoners released during 2016-17 returned to prison within two years (to 2018-19).  Patently prison is not a Deterrent, rather for a not insignificant cohort of the population; for many institutionalised it is an attraction to further criminal activity. Statistics don't lie

Below are two extracts from the Sentencing Advisory Council's paper titled Does Imprisonment Deter?  A Review of the Evidence dated April 2011:

"The evidence from empirical studies of deterrence suggests that the threat of imprisonment generates a small general deterrent effect. However, the research also indicates that increases in the severity of penalties, such as increasing the length of terms of imprisonment, do not produce a corresponding increase in deterrence."

"The research shows that imprisonment has, at best, no effect on the rate of reoffending and is often criminogenic, resulting in a greater rate of recidivism by imprisoned offenders compared with offenders who received a different sentencing outcome."

Accredited USA and UK newspapers are calling for prison reform because incarceration is a failed and costly crime Deterrent.

Long prison sentences are counter-productive to Rehabilitation "......... in a highly structured yet socially threatening environment, (a long jail sentence) is bound to lead to significant personality changes.  Particularly for anyone concerned about prisoner welfare and how to rehabilitate former convicts, the worry is that these personality changes, while they may help the prisoner survive their jail time, are counter-productive for their lives upon release."

First World Countries reliance on Prison Incarceration to Punish and Deter in the pursuit of Law and Order has been the greatest Societal Blunder of the 20th Century.

Below is an extract from Chapter 3 of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee report titled 'Value of a justice reinvestment approach to criminal justice in Australia' dated June 2013:

3.31 The increase in prisoner numbers is putting financial strain on the Australian justice system, which is quickly becoming unsustainable. Released prisoners are

finding it difficult to find work and are facing multiple barriers to reintegrating with society. In addition, the removal of an individual from a community or family can

have long lasting effects, as well as increasing financial burden. Due to the overcrowding of prisons, prisoner health is deteriorating and those health issues are

being transferred to society with the release of prisoners. Governments need to address the long term economic and social costs of imprisonment to prevent further

development of intergenerational offending, and occurrences of recidivism.

Below is an extract from "CORRECTIONAL SERVICES IN AUSTRALIA - YEAR IN REVIEW & 2018 OUTLOOK" produced by legal firm, Corrs, Chambers, Westgarth:

"Correctional Services attracts media headlines, political scrutiny and fierce debate across the nation. With 112 custodial facilities holding over 41,000 people at a cost of approximately $3.7 billion, itís little wonder that there is intense focus in Australia on whether this investment can be justified by the outcomes.  More fundamentally, we need to question whether there is any broad consensus within society on -
*      what these outcomes ought to be; and
*      what level of resources should be expended to achieve them."

Baker's Dozen Unsustainable Problems is testimony that the more recent Warehouse Sentencing in some western countries, driven by Penal Populism, has failed Dozenly.

Practitioners views on the Problems with Australian prisons include:

".............there is something fundamentally broken with a criminal justice system that catches children and spits adults out into the prison system................By failing to address the deep inequalities in our community, and by actively promoting law and order strategies such as increased policing, stricter bail conditions and more punitive sentences, governments are not just failing to prevent children (particularly Aboriginal children) from entering the broken criminal justice system, they are actively driving them to it."