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Next Step in Abolishing Suspended Sentences

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Tags: Justice, Suspended Sentences, Corrections, Sentencing, Recidivism, Supreme Court

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Justice spokesperson

The Liberals have taken the next step in scrapping suspended sentences, producing legislation for public comment.

It's well understood within the legal and wider community that imprisonment locks people into a criminal cycle for life. Suspended sentences are a tried and true method of reducing reoffending.

It's ludicrous that the Attorney General is continuing her push to scrap suspended sentences, despite serious concerns that are continually raised by the legal community.

The sentencing options proposed in the draft bill, like extending Drug Treatment Orders to the Supreme Court and enabling judges to defer sentencing, are welcome. But they shouldn't come at the cost of judges being able to choose a suspended sentence option.

The Sentencing Advisory Council's report confirms that the Liberals' model will be costly to taxpayers, while suspended sentences cost nothing. This flies directly in the face of the government's rhetoric on sound financial management.

The Attorney General needs to walk away from this populist, unsafe and expensive election promise.

It’s time the Liberals accept they can’t deliver their election promise of a cost-neutral alternative to suspended sentences.