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Tasmanian justice system failing: Hobart Bishop


The fact that almost two-thirds of Tasmanian prisoners re-offend after release is a "clear sign of failure", says Hobart Archbishop Adrian Doyle, and more emphasis on rehabilitation is needed to reduce the recidivism rate.

"While custodial sentences are a necessary part of the justice system, the ultimate aim should always be to ensure that the prisoner does not offend again after being released," Archbishop Doyle said.

His comments followed the official release of the Prisons and Rehabilitation Issues Sheet, the fourth in a series published by the Tasmanian Catholic Justice and Peace Commission.

"It is a clear sign of failure with the current approach that almost two thirds of those who spend time in our prisons will re-offend and return to jail.

"Apart from the extremely dangerous few, the reality is that virtually all prisoners will eventually be released and our community will always be best served if those individuals are able to lead fulfilling and law-abiding lives," he said.

"Rehabilitation is not a simple, quick-fix - it takes time, effort and resources - but it must be the driving force behind imprisonment if we are going to break the cycle of recidivism."

Commission Chairman, Mr Doug Rutledge, said the Issues Sheet included suggestions on what action people could take to promote a greater focus on rehabilitation within our prison system.

"The opening of the new Risdon prison provides an ideal opportunity for a renewed effort to reduce recidivism and the aim of this Issues Sheet is to help the broader Tasmanian community join that effort," Mr Rutledge said.

The new Risdon maximum and medium prison complex, part of the government's $90 million upgrade of Tasmania's prison system, was opened in August. The existing Risdon buildings will be refurbished as a minimum-security prison.

"As welcome as the new prison complex might be, it is not bricks and mortar that will make the real difference - it is action and support by individual Tasmanians that is much more important."


SOURCE
New prison must focus on rehabilitation (Tasmanian Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Media Release, 13/10/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Tasmanian Catholic Justice and Peace Commission

ARCHIVE
Mental patients filling prisons: Chaplain (CathNews, 18/9/05)
Former MP's first hand experience of prison system failures (CathNews, 9/2/04)


SOURCE
New prison must focus on rehabilitation (Tasmanian Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Media Release, 13/10/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Tasmanian Catholic Justice and Peace Commission

ARCHIVE
Mental patients filling prisons: Chaplain (CathNews, 18/9/05)
Former MP's first hand experience of prison system failures (CathNews, 9/2/04)


16 Oct 2006