All Australians have the right to feel safe as they go about their lives. Being tough on crime also means being tough on the causes of crime. Inadequate penalties not only insult victims and their families, they continue to put the community at risk. The scourge of substance abuse – a major contributor to violence and theft – must be addressed as a priority.
Examples of what needs to be done:
- Increase the transparency of plea bargaining and give victims a greater say in the plea bargaining process.
- Legislation regarding the confiscation of proceeds from crime, particularly drug trafficking, needs to be more effective.
- The mental impairment defence needs to be reformed as it is being abused in some cases.
- Prisons should have more effective rehabilitation programs, rather than being a training ground for more hardened criminals.