Victoria urged to look north for valuable prison policies lessons

The Executive Officer of the Victorian Federation of Community Legal Centres and spokesperson for Smart Justice, Hugh de Kretser, has urged the Victorian Government to look to New South Wales for valuable lessons in prison policies. In a recent opinion piece Mr de Kretser highlighted the NSW Attorney-General’s recognition that building more prisons is expensive and does little to make a better style and his desire for spending to shift to reducing incarceration rates.

While NSW is cutting its prison population, closing jails and investing in reoffending reduction programs, Mr de Kretser argues Victoria’s tendency to criticise "hopelessly inadequate sentences" and promise longer prison terms and reduced court discretion is likely saddle the state with a prison legacy that will suck billions of much needed taxpayer funds into a populist policy sinkhole.