SACOSS believes that to tackle the deep-rooted issues of law and justice, there are a range of approaches which are fairer and more effective than the so-called “tough on law and order” policies that generally fail to address the causes of crime. Better approaches place emphasis on (and investment in) prevention and early intervention strategies, principles of restorative justice for victims of crime and proper rehabilitation for offenders, and tackling offending behaviour in tandem with efforts to eliminate disadvantage and poverty. Further, the punishment for offending should be considered in context and not punish poor people more simply because they are poor.
In 2021, SACOSS is calling for:
- legislation to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14 years of age
- a detailed and funded plan to reduce the number of young and adult Aboriginal people who are incarcerated
And as part of our Anti-Poverty package, SACOSS is calling for:
- removal of the $20.90 charge imposed on payment plans when people can’t afford to pay state government fines upfront
- removal of the Victims of Crime levy on expiation notices (fines) for those in receipt of Centrelink payments or an SA government concession
- Review the impact on service access and use of the imposition of fees for the Communication Partner Service in police interviews and court hearings