Brisbane Archdiocese's Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) and Catholic Prison Ministry have stepped up their campaign to keep fine defaulters out of jail.
    The Catholic Leader reports that the commission's executive officer, Sr Annette Arnold RSJ, and Prison Ministry coordinator, Denise Foley, will meet with Queensland Attorney-General Matt Foley today.
    They will go armed with a 500 signature position from Aspley parish and other support to press the case that fine defaulters don't belong in jail.
    In March, the commission and ministry released the outcome of a joint project, "Broken Laws or Broken People".
    A kit to help people make practical application of material contained in the report has since been sent to all archdiocesan parishes and to other Queensland dioceses.
    The campaign aims, in the context of Jubilee Year justice, to urge the State Government:
    To release people now in jail for non-payment of fines to serve community-based sentences instead.
    That future fine defaulters should be given community-based orders as a first option.
    That the money saved by these means be devoted to resourcing commuinty-based options for fine defaulters, including the increasingly widely used restorative justice options. These are based on offenders being challenged to accept personal responsibility for their actions and the harm they have caused others.
    Catholic Leader
25 July 00

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