High Populations in New South Wales Prison
The proportion of the assaults in overcrowded New South Wales has soared up to 37 percent. Between the 20th and 21st centuries, the imprisonment rate in NSW rose by 20 percent. In 2008, the capital expenditure and net recurrent on the Australian’ prisons were noted exceeding over $2.6 billion per year (Butler & Kariminia, 2010, p. 19). The strategies to reduce imprisonment was not being successful. In the same time, the rate of indigenous imprisonment rose by percentage of 41. More than 27,000 people were held in the prison where it could cost the prison $200 daily to keep that particular person in the prison.
Back two decades, Territory governments and the states have come up with alternatives in prisoning the criminals. This assisted in curbing the growth of the numbers in the prisons as well as correctional outlays. It is evidenced that these sprouting alternatives are effective in reducing imprisonment which is quite costly.
Contemporary Standing of the Issue.
Due to the current developments in Australia, the rate of crime has reduced. The political shift has contributed to escalating rates of imprisonment and introduction of justice in criminal strategy in reliance on crime response (Preen, 2011, p. 66).In the NSW there was the introduction of justice reinvestment. The movement is gaining a lot of traction in Australia. Justice reinvestment is concerned with the advancement of fiscally-sound, the criminal justice and data-driven policies in breaking the recidivism, make the safety of the communities and avert the prison’s expenditure (Krieg, 2007, p. 532). The aim of the strategy is to quantify subsequent reinvestments and savings in the high-stakes of the neighborhoods in which majority of the people who are released from the jails and the prisons return. For example; abandoned housing, redeveloping and the better coordinating of services which include; treatment of the mental health, substance abuse, education and job training. In Australia, the justice reinvestments strategies have started to gain political traction in the aid of pressure-groups work; for instance, Sydney-based Crime and the Justice Reform Committees (CJRC) which was established by Hal Sperling QC, the retired judge of the Supreme Court in NSW. Eventually, the dominant factors of reducing the rate of property crime appeared to be justice reinvestment, reduction of heroin use, managing the long terms unemployment and the rising of weekly earnings.
Ways of reducing the prison population through some stakeholders.
Due to the rapidly increasing population in the NSW prisons, the stakeholders came up with some ways to reduce this population growth in the prisons. Some of the ways to reduce Aboriginal incarceration rate include;
- The community empowerment.
Empowering the communities was one of the best ways of reducing the Aboriginal rates (Baldwin & Leete, 2012). The empowerment will make the people not to engage in offensive behaviors to meet their needs. Provision of loans to the Aboriginal people made it possible to reduce the crime rates which in turn reduce the populations in the prisons.
- Leadership and Employment.
Aboriginal leadership and Employment are crucial ways for successful reduction of the population in the NSW prisons (Butler & Kariminia, 2010). There was a strong Aboriginal women group who held a position on the committees who worked as liaison officers. They dealt with the offenders when the police officers were not around. The youths were trained in horticulture and tourism jobs. These programs assist in reducing the domestic violence rates.
- Recreational programs.
When the population of the young offenders was noticed being high in the prisons, the government introduce some passages of their mentoring program and imaginations which include, sport, IT and music. In NSW, the prisoners were given a chance to go for boxing training 3 times weekly (Krieg, 2007). The trainers were mentoring these young people because they were elder. This changed the attitudes of the offenders and could not engage in crime because they feared being jailed.
- Healing Programs.
The Australian state copied Canadian model known as healing lodges. The lodges are set according to the Aboriginal culture where the Aboriginal staff was the majority (Maplestone, 2006). In the healing lodges, there was a therapeutic treatment which assisted the residents to overcome the driving force to offending. There were also programs for spiritual healing. The spiritual programs assisted the offenders by drawing attention to the Aboriginal ancestors who could bring the connections with the land, culture, and family leading to population reduction in the prisons.
To achieve the national agenda reform, the government propose some reforms which will move the mere concept of justice reinvestment leading to the measurable and tangible national reforms agenda. For the government to succeed, it established sites for local implementation (Weatherburn & Corben, 2009, p. 6). The government has set some goals which would help in creating justice in the NSW.
Goal 1. Improvement of all the Australian systems of justice in order to deliver justice needs comprehensively of the Torres’ Strait Islander and Aboriginal people in a very equitable and fair manner.
Goal 2. Reduction of Torres Straits Islander and Aboriginal offenders, victims, and defenders in the systems of criminal justice.
Goal 3. Making sure that the people feel safe in the places of residence.
Goal 4. Safety increment and offending reduction within the indigenous communities through addressing of alcohol and the substance abuse.
Corrective Services in NSW
The NSW correction systems contain two main components. There are about 13,000 inmates on prison side (Hew & Simba, 2013, p. 20). There are around 60 offices on community side and around the estate. The aim was to supervise the offenders in the community serving the court orders from the community services orders to parole. Its main goal is the preservation of the community’s safety through keeping the inmates secure, reducing reoffending and supervision of the community’s offenders. The corrective Services’ need is the provision of education to the inmates, vocational training and coming up with programs of addressing the behavior offending (Kilroy, 2016, p. 8). Corrections system has undergone a significant change because there are government investments over extra programs and dozen current prisons in reducing reoffending and raising standards.
The ethical and ideological dimensions underpinning each stakeholder’s position
There are complex needs for women prisoners. The women’s needs are vulnerable and complex in high population prisons. The complex connections between the economic, social, gathered issues and health are brought to greater focus during the process of looking disadvantaged group, for instance, Aboriginal women (Maplestone, 2006, p. 10). Indigenous women are making a high population percentage in the NWS imprisoned women. Some qualitative studies were conducted to learn the needs and experiences of the indigenous women are involved in the criminal justice systems. It was thought that the indigenous women are overrepresented because of the over policing in the Aboriginal community.
- Walker, when he was elected as the attorney general he decriminalized begging, public drunkenness, prostitution offenses and vagrancy which raised the legal threshold in obvious public offenses (Osborn, 2013, p. 36). The public offenses include; offensive behavior and language, abolished the imprisonment for the fine default as well as the bail laws reformation.
The sentence lengths were reduced by the license release systems. There was the conviction of corruption in the imprisonment in the conjunction of the scheme. Due to lack of transparency in the prisons, the National Reform found it challenging in controlling the criminal offenses in the NSW prisons.
Evidence-based recommendations by the Government
The Government has set recommendations in advancing the justice issues in the prisons. The government has come up with the establishment of;
Rehabilitation centers: It is an essential element of providing safety in the community in delivering an effective response in promoting rehabilitation and reducing reoffending. It has been a key consideration for framing the deliberations of the panel in its reviews of availability of rehabilitation evidence in the current practice. One of the ways to safeguard a community is by imprisoning the offenders. The community as well can be protected by minimizing offensive likelihood after the release.
The protective factors when emphasized can help in reducing the population in the prisons. The individual risk involves one avoiding such experiences which trigger in committing a crime. These factors include; peers, family ties, life experiences and the community environment. Risk factors may include; criminal behavior, family breakdown, living conditions and poor health. The government has emphasized more on meeting the basic needs and self-actualization.
It was realized that by the government that offending it is not criminal and legal justice problem, offending is also a social problem which has effects and social causes (Vienna, 2014, p. 124). There are some social factors that contribute to the likelihood of criminal behavior. International research has shown that there are strong links between social factors, individual and predisposition in reoffending. The government has come up with workshops which help in reorganizing one’s behavior and ceasing the injustice ways.