Queensland Law Society

Inquiry should address crime, not just punishment

Date 08 Aug 2014
Contact Natalie Graeff, Communication Manager
Phone 07 3842 5868
Mobile 0488 433 884
Email n.graeff@qls.com.au

Queensland Law Society said the state’s criminal law strategies must be based on evidence, ahead of an appearance at the government’s parliamentary committee hearing today.

President Ian Brown said that a principal focus of criminal justice reform should be on prevention.

“Evidence suggests that investing in community programs focused on preventing crime and addressing current offending behaviour is effective in reducing crime,” Mr Brown said.

“We need to protect the community by addressing the social and economic contributors to crime, including education inequality, unemployment and drug and alcohol abuse.

“In our appearance at the Inquiry, we will emphasise the need to educate those in the broader community about crime trends, offending behaviours and sentencing processes. 

“There are many public misconceptions about crime and punishment.

“We congratulate the government on their willingness to consult widely on criminal justice concerns.

“These concerns should be the discussion of broad and well informed community consideration.

“As part of a strategy to educate and inform the community about criminal justice issues, we encourage the government to consider reinstating the Sentencing Advisory Council which previously produced balanced reports that fed into government policy considerations.

“The community rightly desires the prevention of crime before it occurs.

“Prevention strategies should therefore be the focus of criminal justice reform.”

Queensland Law Society will appear at the parliamentary inquiry at 2pm.