Crime Prevention & Judicial Process

Crime Prevention & Judicial Process

All individuals have a right to a safe, peaceful and ecologically sustainable existence, free from crime and fear of violence. Read the full policy.

(Adopted October 2014)

Principles

The Queensland Greens believe that:

1. All individuals have a right to a safe, peaceful and ecologically sustainable existence, free from crime and fear of violence.

2. A just and effective criminal justice system protects the community, reduces the social impacts of crime, addresses the causes of crime, protects the human rights of victims, suspects and perpetrators and offers a range of interventions in addition to loss of liberty.

3. The government must deliver a full range of services to prevent the over-representation in the criminal justice system of people with intellectual disabilities, mental illnesses and substance addiction.

4. A reduction in the use of custodial interventions for remand and sentencing will release public funds that should be directed to the prevention of crime and the resolution of underlying social problems that give rise to criminal behaviour.

5. Policing and custodial services should not be privatised under any circumstances.

6. Victims of crime should have improved access to compensation, counselling and other such measures.

7. The over representation of Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system in Queensland must be addressed.

8. The following basic principles of criminal justice must be protected:
     a. Freedom from prolonged detention without charge or trial. 
     b. The presumption in favour of bail.
     c. The principle of double jeopardy. 
     d. The legal presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
     e. The right to a trial by jury for all serious indictable offences. 
     f. The requirement for unanimous jury verdicts.
     g. The independence of the judiciary from political interference. 
     h. Judicial discretion in sentencing and bail.
     i. The freedom from allegation based on association.

9. That criminal justice policies should be based on rational, evidence-based, non-emotive approach to issues rather than on simplistic ‘law and order’ campaigns.

Aims

The Queensland Greens will:

Crime Prevention

1. Prioritise programs that promote:
   a. A reduction in the likelihood of an individual becoming involved in criminal behaviour.
   b. Alternatives to imprisonment which are widely available and not subject to geographic limitations.
   c. Prevention strategies - including;
       i) access to literacy & numeracy programs as well as wider education, training and work opportunities,
       ii) improved access to publicly funded drug and alcohol treatment and rehabilitation centres,
       iii) breaking the cycle of social disadvantage that may result in child abuse and neglect.
    g. Specific services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people from Non-English Speaking Backgrounds and Lower Socio-economical Backgrounds. 
    h. Early intervention programs, such as community based residential, counselling and other support services.
    i. Post release services to prevent re-offending. 

2. Tighter regulation of alcohol marketing and promotions. 

3. Introduce an adequately funded and integrated approach to combating domestic violence and sexual assault, with services available throughout the state.

4. Implement ongoing preventative and educative programs aimed at the public, police, and the judiciary regarding domestic violence.

5. Advocate for the protection, safety and equality of children in treatment of domestic violence

6. Introduce specific programs to combat hate crimes against people on the basis of their race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.

7. Continue to support a well-resourced and independent Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research of mental illness and people with intellectual disabilities.

8. Implement drug-addiction law reform in keeping with harm minimisation principles to reduce crime.

9. Support trials of “justice reinvestment” in disadvantaged communities in Queensland, whereby money that would have been spent on the prison system is reinvested in programs and services in communities to address the underlying causes of crime and reduce re-offending.

10. Support the ongoing provision and expansion of supervised safe places for drug- and alcohol-affected persons (i.e. supervised injection facilities).

Legal Services

11. Support increased funding for Legal Aid, Community Legal Centres, and Aboriginal Legal Services to increase the capacity for advice, representation, community legal education, and law reform.

Judicial process and Sentencing

12. Advocate for the imposition, wherever possible, of non-custodial penalties for those convicted of relatively minor, non-violent crimes in order to maximise the likelihood of successful rehabilitation and reduce recidivism.

13. Oppose political pressure to extend sentences already imposed by a court.

14. Expand the range of restorative justice and properly supervised diversionary measures.

15. Extend the operation of the Drug Court and the Youth Drug and Alcohol Court to more locations across Queensland.

16. Remove unjust restrictions on the right to apply for bail, ensuring that any conditions placed on bail are reasonable and are not an indirect method of refusing bail.

17. Support measures to encourage greater representation of women and minority groups in the judiciary.

18. Provide effective support systems within the courts for those with intellectual disabilities and those with mental illness (both victims and defendants/offenders).

19. Monitor and implement any necessary reforms to minimise stress on complainants in sexual assault and rape trials, consistent with a fair investigation, trial, and court procedures.

20. Support distinct criminal justice policies in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, developed in a collaborative way, with members of those communities.

21. Adequately fund the office of Director of Public Prosecutions, and protect it from political interference.

22. Support the removal of archaic or trivial offences from legislation.

Prisons and Rehabilitation

23. Re-establish public ownership and control of all Queensland correctional facilities.

24. Support measures to ensure that the human rights and dignity of prisoners are respected within the prison environment, including:
    a. Re-instating the role of Inspector-General of Prisons as an important accountability mechanism.
    b. In the interim, ensuring that the Ombudsman has the financial and administrative resources for adequate oversight. 
    c. Corrective Services institutions and practices.
    d. Ensuring independence for Official Prison Visitors and their right to appeal against dismissal.
    e. Monitoring deaths in custody, particularly Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
    f. Providing effective programs and support systems within corrective services and prisons for prisoners with intellectual impairment.

25. Effective programs to rehabilitate incarcerated offenders and reduce recidivism, including education, training schemes, employment opportunities, post release social support and other social and vocational services and that these services should also be available for remand prisoners.

26. Review the operation of the Correctional Health and make necessary changes to ensure that all prisoners have access to prompt and appropriate medical and dental treatment including specialist services.

27. Ensure adequate initial and ongoing training and support of prison officers.

28. Support programs designed to assist perpetrators of crime to understand their crimes and change their behaviour both within the prison system and upon release into the community.