Yesterday's state budget includes some promising signs that South Australia is moving towards becoming 'smarter on crime' rather than just 'tough on crime', but demonstrates just how expensive it is to keep people in jail, Greens Senator for South Australia, Penny Wright, said.
"I am heartened that yesterday's state budget has seen some programs funded that encourage a Justice Reinvestment approach to the criminal justice system, such as an investigation into a bail support program and the modernisation of the justice information system," Senator Wright said.
"The collection and analysis of data relating to criminal justice matters is the first step towards implementing a successful Justice Reinvestment approach.
"I hope that the South Australian Government will continue its uptake of policies related to Justice Reinvestment, which re-directs monies from the prison system into communities with large numbers of offenders. Justice Reinvestment will mean less crime, less victims and will save us money in the long term.
"There is no doubt that prisons will always be needed for people who commit serious or violent crimes. However, prisons come at an extremely high cost to taxpayers.
"It will be a great day when we don't have to spend millions of dollars building new prisons because we have taken meaningful, effective steps to reduce crime in the first place."