Four Corners - Road to Return, The
Could there be a relatively cheap and cost-effective way to stop prisoners reoffending? Most of the nation's 25,000 inmates are illiterate or have drug and alcohol addictions; close to a third have a mental illness or a physical or intellectual disability. For many, release is more like a revolving door, freedom tantalising but short-lived. In NSW, for example, nearly half will be back in prison or under community supervision orders within two years.
Victoria has been beefing up post-release programs and is seeing a dividend: a fall in recidivism rates. Victorian officials also boast less stress on the community, a smaller corrections bill for taxpayers and a better flowing court system. Are policy-makers in other jurisdictions missing an investment opportunity? This report asks if offenders who have served their punishment should be supported to restart their lives, and if that might make the public feel safer as well.
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