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The government’s commitments on reforming the criminal justice system

Independent crime statistics unit and other reforms

The Queensland Police Service reinstated its Annual Statistical Reivew in 2014.  We missed the message in this May 2015 from the Attorney-General to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee. We include the list of government commitments, including the promise to establish an independent crime statistics body:

  • a referral to the Queensland Law Reform Commission to investigate alternatives to incarceration, including but not limited to justice reinvestment and court-ordered parole;
  • a review of the Cabinet Handbook with a view to including a requirement for an Institutional Impact Statement to be included with Cabinet submissions, which outlines the impact on all State government institutions (which would include correctional facilities), likely to be impacted by proposed legislation;
  • the reinstatement of the Sentencing Advisory Council in Queensland and the establishment of an independent crime statistical body to publish independent crime statistics for all criminal offending across Queensland;
  • the reinstatement of diversionary processes, such as the Murri Court, the Special Circumstances Court and the Drug court, as soon as is fiscally practicable; and to restore court-order youth justice conferencing;
  • reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system, including through consideration of ways to introduce programs that were ceased and new programs to address this serious issue; and
  • undertaking a comprehensive audit of all Queensland courts and tribunals with a view to providing appropriate resourcing of courthouses, with such an audit to include the existing provision of: soundproof interview rooms, access for mobility impaired persons, facilities to assist persons with disabilities, videoconferencing facilites; and consultation with stakeholders to ascertain how access to interpreter services in the justice system could be improved.

Excerpt from the response of 27 May2015by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee report No 82 (Inquiry on strategies to prevent and reduce criminal activity in Queensland, tabled on 28.1.14).

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