This article originally appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on 16 May 2017.
The NSW government continues to lead the way on innovative criminal justice policy. Having last year committed $3.8 billion to new and improved prisons, the government is now pivoting to reforms designed to reduce the need for further prison spending over the longer-term, by lowering reoffending and improving community safety.
The government last week announced a package of reforms, including the abolition of suspended sentences and a new procedure for managing offenders released on parole. While prison is absolutely necessary for violent criminals, these reforms acknowledge that for those criminals we do release into the community, we need more options for managing their behaviour.