A new report has proposed significant reforms to Queensland’s justice system to improve rates of reoffending.
The draft report from the Queensland Productivity Commission includes 18 recommendations that aim to:
- allow more effective ways to deal with offending
- break the cycle of offending
- reduce interactions with the criminal justice system
- create a better decision-making architecture.
Importantly, the report identifies the high rates of untreated mental ill health amongst prisoners and people interacting with the justice system and includes recommendations to assist individuals to stay out of prison and to improve rehabilitation services.
Queensland Alliance for Mental Health has been actively involved in this inquiry, making a submission and participating in public forums late last year.
Our submission identified the importance of looking at alternative sentencing options, justice reinvestment strategies, the expansion of drug court programs and support plans to assist people re-entering the community after a period of imprisonment. Many of these issues are reflected in the QPC draft report.
We are strongly supportive of many of the recommendations, which we believe could improve outcomes for people living with mental ill health. For example, the QPC draft report recommends reviewing and introducing increased diversionary options for police.
QPC is now seeking feedback on the draft report and recommendations. The due date for responses to the draft report is 17 April 2019.