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Tasmania Less Safe Under the Liberals

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Tags: Justice, Corrections, Prisons

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Liberals’ ‘tough on crime’ ideology is making the Tasmanian community less safe.

The latest Justice Report on Government Services paints a bleak picture of the Liberal Government’s justice failures.

There are more people sent to prison, more violence inside prison and more reoffending since the Liberals came to office in 2014.

Despite the appalling failures of youth detention in Tasmania, youth police diversions continue to decline.

In 2013-14, 53% of young offenders were diverted from charges.  This has declined to an all time low of 43.3% in 2021-22. This number is even more stark for Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people, where diversions have almost halved - declining from 41.2% to 22.5% in the same period.

The recalcitrance of the Liberals in government on rehabilitative models of justice is continuing to put huge pressure on the corrections system.

The decline in diversions, alongside moves such as introducing mandatory minimum sentencing, phasing out suspended sentences, and abolition of remissions as a rehabilitative and behavioural management tool, has contributed to overcrowding.

Prisoners in 2021-22 spent 1.3 hours longer in their cell each day that in 2013-14.

This has a flow on effect to behaviour and rehabilition. Under the Libeals, the rate of prisoner assaults have more than tripled, and reoffending has increased from 50% in 2014-15 to 61% in 2021-22.

This makes our community less safe.

It is well-understood that a punitive approach to justice, that despite the rhetoric is more concerned with vengeance than community safety, increases criminality.

This is exactly what we have seen play out in Tasmania over the past 9 years of Liberal Government.