Catholic Commission wants action on crowded prisons
Melbourne Archdiocese's Commission for Justice, Development and Peace has criticised moves to solve the problem of prison overcrowding by building more prisons.
Describing the 'bricks and mortar' solution as short-term and ill-considered, Executive Officer Liz Curran said: "It is clear to us that many of the people in prison should probably not be there but would be better off with properly resourced diversionary options."
She said that Victoria's correctional resources sector has been under-resourced for some time, and that the challenge for governments is to spend more money on identifying and funding more successful means of rehabilitation.
"The great irony is that non-prison options are less expensive and more successful. They also take political courage," Ms Curran said.
She was speaking on Friday. Yesterday the State Government announced plans to allow some criminals to serve prison sentences at home, which followed estimates that such a scheme could halve the cost of keeping prisoners in prison.