Downsizing Prisons in an Age of Austerity? Justice Reinvestment and Women’s Imprisonment

Oñati Socio-Legal Series. 2016;6(1):91-115


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Oñati Socio-Legal Series

ISSN: 2079-5971 (Online)

Publisher: Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law

Society/Institution: Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law

LCC Subject Category: Law: Law in general. Comparative and uniform law. Jurisprudence: Private international law. Conflict of laws: Social legislation

Country of publisher: Spain

Language of fulltext: Portuguese, English, Spanish, Basque, French

Full-text formats available: PDF



Julie Stubbs (University of New South Wales)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 16 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

<p>Justice Reinvestment is being actively promoted as one means of reducing high levels of incarceration through diverting expenditures from prisons to fund services intended to provide support and supervision for offenders within the community and to prevent crime. At a time of financial stringency, the huge expenditure necessitated by high incarceration rates is being re-examined. There is growing recognition that high levels of incarceration are ineffective in reducing recidivism and may be criminogenic and damaging in other ways for individuals and communities. Based on claims that Justice Reinvestment schemes in the US have produced promising results, some activists and politicians in Australia have urged the adoption of Justice Reinvestment. This advocacy has emphasised the need to find mechanisms to reduce the very high levels of incarceration of Indigenous people. Women&rsquo;s imprisonment rates have increased substantially in recent years and to a greater extent than rates for men. This pattern has been observed in several jurisdictions and is even more pronounced for Indigenous women. This paper critically examines features of Justice Reinvestment, such as its endorsement of &lsquo;evidence based policy&rsquo; and risk assessment tools, to question whether these features are likely to promote the interests of women.</p> <hr /><p>Se est&aacute; promoviendo activamente la reinversi&oacute;n en justicia como un medio para reducir las altas tasas de encarcelamiento, dedicando gastos destinados a prisiones para financiar servicios dentro de la comunidad que presten apoyo y supervisi&oacute;n a los delincuentes y que prevengan el delito. En un momento de restricciones financieras, se est&aacute; revisando el enorme gasto que generan las altas tasas de encarcelamiento. Existe un creciente reconocimiento de que una alta tasa de encarcelamiento no es eficaz para reducir la reincidencia y, de diversas maneras, puede aumentar la criminalidad y ser perjudicial para individuos y comunidades. Bas&aacute;ndonos en que en EE UU los proyectos de reinversi&oacute;n en justicia han dado resultados prometedores, algunos activistas y pol&iacute;ticos han instado a la adopci&oacute;n de la reinversi&oacute;n en justicia en Australia. Este apoyo ha hecho hincapi&eacute; en la necesidad de encontrar mecanismos para reducir las tasas muy altas de encarcelamiento de ind&iacute;genas. Las tasas de encarcelamiento de mujeres han aumentado sustancialmente en los &uacute;ltimos a&ntilde;os y en un grado mayor que las tasas de hombres. Este patr&oacute;n se ha observado en diferentes jurisdicciones y es a&uacute;n m&aacute;s acusado en el caso de mujeres ind&iacute;genas. Este art&iacute;culo analiza de forma cr&iacute;tica las caracter&iacute;sticas de la reinversi&oacute;n en justicia, como su apoyo a una &ldquo;pol&iacute;tica basada en pruebas&rdquo; y las herramientas de valoraci&oacute;n de riesgo, para plantearse si estas caracter&iacute;sticas pueden promover los intereses de las mujeres.</p> <p><strong>DOWNLOAD THIS PAPER FROM SSRN</strong>: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p>