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Roundtable: Assessing Justice Reinvestment in Comparative Contexts

Thu, Nov 19, 2:00 to 3:20pm, Hilton, International Terrace East #4, Terrace Level

Session Submission Type: Roundtable Session


Justice reinvestment has been picked-up as a reformist vision for criminal justice change. The initial conception of justice reinvestment proposed that savings from correctional budgets be reinvested in high needs communities to ameliorate the conditions associated with crime. Its early arguments were strongly tied to civil rights, with a focus on imprisonment and racialization and social justice for communities where large numbers of prisoners recycled in and out of prison. Over time there has been a narrowing in the way in which justice reinvestment has been understood and implemented in many settings with more focus on funding criminal justice system reforms.

The Roundtable discusses justice reinvestment in the US and Australia.
It considers the achievements but also the challenges (e.g. political, technical, evidence base, debates about community focused versus criminal justice system reform). In particular national and sub-national contexts influence the way justice reinvestment is understood and developed. The ‘problem of context’ is especially apparent when justice reinvestment has been transported out of the US. The experience of that transfer process into the Australian setting is highlighted.

The book Justice Reinvestment: Winding back imprisonment, published by Palgrave Macmillan, provides a background to the discussion.

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