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Read our policy work

Here you’ll find a wide selection of policy papers and submissions we’ve published.

Each paper draws on our experience working with disadvantaged youth, families and communities.

Federal Election Platform

Federal Election Platform 2022

Elections are a time for reflecting on what kind of society we want to live in. Drawing on our 45 years of advocacy and action, Jesuit Social Services’ Federal Election Platform 2022 outlines our vision for a just society across a range of interconnected policy areas – including climate change, Aboriginal self-determination, youth justice, mental health, and affordable housing. We call for political vision that reduces inequality, prejudice and exclusion, and which ultimately reflects a more compassionate and just Australia.

Prisons, climate and a just transition

Prisons, climate and a just transition

Jesuit Social Services has launched a discussion paper arguing that in a world of worsening climate change, Australia’s reliance on incarceration is increasingly untenable.

Alongside the effects of climate change on imprisoned people, our paper outlines the ways Australia’s reliance on imprisonment as a response to crime is ineffective, costly and discriminatory, disproportionately harming the most marginalised people in our communities.

Submission to the Federal Pre-Budget 2022-23 consultation

Federal Pre-Budget Submission 2022-23

The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified many of the pre-existing challenges experienced by people on the margins of society. These challenges include homelessness and housing stress, family violence, insecure employment, and poverty.

The climate crisis continues alongside the pandemic, with 2021 recorded as one of the hottest years on record. Like COVID-19, climate change is disproportionately affecting the people we work with.

In our submission to the Treasury’s Pre-Budget 2022-23 consultation, we advocate for the Government to reduce inequity, exclusion and ecological injustice, and enable people to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

Raising the age of criminal responsibility: there is a better way

Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility:
There is a better way

In Australia, at this time, a child as young as 10 can be charged with a crime, put before a court and punished as a criminal. Jesuit Social Services believes this is not only bad for children, but also for the wider community.

Our paper— Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility: There is a better way — shows the way forward.

#JusticeSolutions New Zealand

#JusticeSolutions New Zealand tour

In 2019, senior leaders from Jesuit Social Services embarked on a study trip to New Zealand to learn more about innovative approaches to dealing with adults and young people who have contact with the criminal justice system.

The New Zealand justice system faces similar challenges to Australia’s justice system – a high incarceration rate and a significant over-representation of indigenous people in the justice system.

There are, however, pockets of success and innovation that could help inform us here in Australia. These include: political will and leadership; an appetite for innovation; the strong connection to culture; a commitment to a restorative justice approach to offending; and the acknowledgement of the importance of relationship and connection for all people.

So it’s now time for a reset in Australia. Through this report, we set out some of our key observations from New Zealand and look at ideas that might be helpful here.

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