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Real Consequences and Pathway Out of Crime

May 2, 2024

Media Release from Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro and Shadow Minister for Justice Steve Edgington

Under a CLP Government, there will be real consequences for crime, with a suite of new initiatives unveiled as part of its Plan for a Safe Territory, which will reform corrections in the Northern Territory.

Key to the plan is a reduction in overcrowding in the Territory’s prisons as well as ensuring offenders are genuinely rehabilitated and equipped with life skills to stop repeat offending.

“Under the CLP, if you do the crime, you do the time, and while you do the time you will learn job ready skills,” said Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro.

“Whether it’s gaol time, sentenced to a skill, sentenced to a job or compulsory community service, there will be real consequences and genuine pathways to break the cycle of crime.”

The CLP’s Plan includes:

  • Two new purpose-built women’s prisons in Alice Springs and Darwin
  • $10 million for two new adult prisoner work camps
  • A New Work in the Community Home Detention program
  • $5 million Sentenced to a Skill program
  • Compulsory alcohol, drug and behavioral change rehabilitation for related offences for sentences more than three months
  • Creation of a standalone Corrections agency, which will include youth justice
  • Boost Sentenced to a Job program
  • Compulsory Community Service for youth offenders
  • Two Youth Boot Camps located in Darwin and Alice Springs
  • A commitment that all future prisons will be built at Holtze

“The CLP will fast-track the scope and design work of the two new women’s prisons so that construction can commence urgently,” said Mrs Finocchiaro.

“Work will also begin immediately with $10 million to set up two new adult prisoner work camps, to support 50 prisoners each, plus $5 million for our Sentenced to a Skill program, which will build a new skills training detention centre, starting in Alice Springs, to provide routine, structure, skills based training and therapeutic support.”

The CLP expects the Plan to free up at least 270 prison beds across the Northern Territory.

“Labor has failed to invest in corrections or plan for prisoner numbers now and into the future,” said CLP Shadow Minister for Justice, Steven Edgington.

“Our prisons are bursting, with numbers up 9 per cent last financial year, and yet Labor continues to force police to use watch houses to house prisoners.

“Around 75 per cent of NT prisoners have been in gaol before, showing Labor is failing repeat offenders.

“Our Sentenced to a Skill program will give youth offenders a real opportunity to end the cycle of crime for good. It will give youth offenders an intervention to turn their life of crime into a productive life.

“Importantly, we will actually deliver Youth Boot Camps, unlike Labor who have promised them for 8 years yet delivered nothing.”

If elected, the CLP will provide an immediate injection of $15 million to fund the new work camps and skills programs followed up by budget allocation once building costs for the new prisons have been identified.

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