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. Substance abuse – a major contributor to violence and theft – must be tackled.
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
In South Australia
- The recent changes to the mental impairment defence aimed at preventing people from blaming their criminal actions on the effects of drugs or alcohol are a welcome development which we have long campaigned for. But more needs to be done in this space. We will continue to push for preventative detention type orders - similar to those used for suspected terrorists - for those charged with serious drug-related offences, where there is a risk to public safety. This would involve changes to the Bail Acts so that there is a presumption against bail where the alleged offending is drug-related.