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Supreme Court more lenient in ACT: statistics

By LG - 8 April 2007 11

The ABC has a report on ABS figures which show that “less than one third of criminals convicted by the ACT Supreme Court are sent to jail”.

The statistics show that “the majority of criminals have their sentence suspended, or they get a non-custodial order from the court”.

Obviously, our Opposition leader is unimpressed.

So, if you were to commit a felony, make sure you do it in the ACT.

Happy Easter

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11 Responses to
Supreme Court more lenient in ACT: statistics
vandam 6:01 pm 12 Apr 07

The courts are a joke and some form of accountability needs to be brought in. Surely the recent stuff up of the Hillier Case should of lost a few people their jobs? If the AFP stuffed up that bad, or any other organisation there would be lost jobs.

If you ask me the Magistrates are the ones well above the law and well above everyone else. They are all friends and often get phone calls from other Magistrates to release a certain person. Its corrupt and its rediculous.
It was also clear the other day when a male was sentenced 5 years for rape to serve 3. We are talking about a violent rape that should’ve received the max penalty.

I say sack them all bar a couple, get rid of precidents they’ve set and start again.

Seep, your right, more assistance needs to be given to crooks when they get released.

Woody Mann-Caruso 11:18 am 10 Apr 07

If you were a victim Woody

I’m lucky enough to live in a society that lives by the Rule of Law, not the Rule of Outraged Victims Get To Dish Out Dispropportionate Punishments To People Who’ve Wronged Them. There’s a reason why we have the Rule of Law – it’s because the other way doesn’t work.

This is yet another study

Like you’ve even looked at the stats. You just lapped up the headline. There’s no ‘study’ that shows anything like what the ABC article presents; that’s entirely their own (utterly flawed) analysis. Thinking they can draw meaningful comparisons by directly comparing something the size of the ACT with its single figure crime categories with something like NSW or Victoria with tens and hundreds in each category was their first mistake.

Maybe you can tell us which state has its incarceration rates just right, and why? Because they all claim they’ve got it right, and they all claim they’ve got the crime stats to prove it, and they’re all completely different.

VYBerlinaV8 now_with 10:37 am 10 Apr 07

Letting people off from multiple offences (including bail violations) isn’t actually helping anyone. These people are obviously alreay struggling to find social boundaries, and the courts in letting them go are not contributing (nor rehabilitating).

Not only are the ACT Courts a joke, but some of the prosecuters are also. A client of mine was involved in a scrap in Civic last year where a drunk bugger came and tried to steal a wallet, and the police just happened to be there and saw the whole thing. The broke it up and arrested the offender. When the matter went to court the prosecuter was completely unprepared, and the case basically got thrown out of court. It’s all well and good for the govt. to blame the courts, but the prosecuters need to do their bit to.

vg 9:32 am 10 Apr 07

The primary purpose of any judicial system is not the rehabilitation of offenders. That is a long way secondary to actually punishing people for committing wrongs.

The decreased rate of recidivism in Victoria is largely due to the fact they lock them up in the first place. A case in point, watch the rates of burglaries and stolen motor vehicles in the ACT drop when the judiciary are forced into making decisions involving either remanding defendants or actually incarcerating offenders. Then watch them rise when they lack the spine to remand people despite them breaching bail on more than 2 or 3 occasions.

The ACT Courts are a joke. Their attitude towards everything other than punishing offenders is the primary cause of the huge rate of recidivism in this town. These stats only serve to put some science behind the obvious

seepi 3:04 pm 09 Apr 07

I’d be in favour of less jail sentences and more rehabilitiation type options. But they don’t do that here. They just let them go to go back to whatever they were doing.

I hope when the new gaol opens that they live up to their promises and genuinely engage in rehabilitation of the inmates.

A recent ABC show (four corners?) showed that Victoria spends vastly more than NSW on assisting prisoners to return to the community (after their gaol sentences are up), and has vastly less recidivism. Money well spent.

bigred 12:20 pm 09 Apr 07

I hope the incarceration rate for assault and serious property offences increases significantly once the “state of the art” correctional facility opens. Or maybe we have a better class of criminal who doesn’t deserve to be locked up.

DJ 12:13 pm 09 Apr 07

If you were a victim Woody perhaps you would like to see the offender/s actually get more than a slap on the wrist or would you prefer a harsh talking to then a taxi fare home? If a matter proceeds beyond the Magistrates Court obviously it is serious or perhaps you can educate me there?

This is yet another study that backs up the well known situation that the Community in the ACT are looked after by the Police and not by the Courts.

I am looking forward to reading the responses of the anti-Police lobby on this one. Obviously the matters are proceeding through the CMC and DPP as they are based on the strength of the evidence and the likelihood of a successful conviction however the Supreme Court are letting people off for what appears to be a dislike of sending people to where they belong. Go back to ambulance chasing if putting somebody in jail is too difficult and give a pro-community Magistrate a chance to do what is right.

futto 10:52 am 09 Apr 07

Its about time we have some hard stats that can back up claims about the state of justice in the ACT.

Reading the sentences ruled in the high court, you can see that the judges focus on reasons not to send the convicted criminal to jail. They are not the victims.

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:06 am 09 Apr 07

Statues, even.

Woody Mann-Caruso 10:05 am 09 Apr 07

Yeah, jail is always a better option. We need more gigantic, expensive institutions in which to throw people for the slightest infringement. I dream of a day when we’re as good as the US, with over 700 prisoners per 100,000 population instead of our paltry 100. It’d be like ‘Cops’ (or Queensland), when somebody gets picked up for having a couple of grams of marijuana then goes away for a few years. It’s certainly a much easier way to keep the folks watching the circus happy than, say, spending money on addressing the root causes of the social and economic drivers of crime. Of course, that’d be up to the government, and why would they do that when they can just keep blaming the judiciary? They’ve got expensive statutes to build, after all.

I’d be interested to see what Mr Stefaniak’s ‘consistent’ approach is, given that there are such large discrepancies between the States already (73% NSW, 56% Vic, 54% QLD vs 30% ACT). Maybe he’s just upset that somebody has to be at the bottom of the range and it just happens to be us. Perhaps by ‘consistent’ he means ‘better than’, and we should up our incarceration rates to 75%. That’d do it – we’d be 2% ahead of those Queanbeyan slackers, and just one in four people who walk into a court would walk out again.

DJ 8:45 am 09 Apr 07

Well knock me over with a feather…

What is the opposition leader going to do? Nothing?

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