Letter to Hon. Gerry McCarthy MLA from Priscilla Collins Chief Executive Officer North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency NAAJA's response to the New Era in Corrections dated 23 February 2011
Tabled paper 1429
Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled By Gerald McCarthy
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
NILJF: Expand and implement the range of diversionary options and other interventions for Indigenous adults and youth...'. Conferencing Recommendation 13: The Government should introduce pre-sentence conferencing in the adult and youth jurisdictions. NAAJA supports the introduction of restorative justice initiatives such as pre-sentence conferencing. Section 84 of the NT Youth Justice Act makes provision for pre-sentence conferencing, however minimal funds have been allocated to implement this program. NAAJA is aware that the Community Justice Centres have recently begun facilitating pre-sentence conferencing in some youth justice matters. We strongly support this, and would support a significant expansion of these Centres, with greater utilisation of their expertise. NAAJA notes that pre-sentence conferencing has also been introduced in the adult jurisdiction in NSW, referred to as Forum Sentencing.2 These initiatives recognise the right of victims to be involved in criminal proceedings, and that insight and rehabilitation can be achieved through a mediated encounter between the victim and offender. Conferencing fosters offender rehabilitation by promoting offender appreciation of the impact of their offending on the individual and the community. NAAJA recommends that this restorative justice initiative be adequately funded in both the adult and youth jurisdictions. Parole Recommendation 14: The Government should review the Parole of Prisoners Act 1971 (NT) (The Act) and remove the provision excluding natural justice. Parole has become increasingly difficult to achieve. Many prisoners are serving almost their full term in custody. This has the consequence of significantly increasing the prison population. It also reduces a persons rehabilitative prospects, as they are not afforded the opportunity of supported release. NAAJA recommends a review of the Act as a component of the New Era. In particular, Section 3HA of the Act which provides for the exclusion of the rules of procedural fairness, should be removed. Reinstating procedural fairness would have the effect of making Parole Board decisions fairer and more transparent and robust for the prisoner and the wider community. It would also reflect an implementation of Strategy 1.1.2 of 2 See hltp://wwvv.lawlink.nsw.nov.nu/lnwlink/local courts/ll localcourts.nsr/vwf-'iles/toruin sentencing faclsheet.pdf/Sfil e/forum sentencing factslicct.pdf. Last accessed 22 December 2010. 11
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