In order to inform the discussion around justice in Australia, Jesuit Social Services looked outside our borders for potential justice solutions, visiting the US and Europe in 2017, and New Zealand in 2019.
Justice Solutions 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 despite a drop in the rate of offending 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.
Justice Solutions: Expanding the conversation
In 2017, senior leaders from Jesuit Social Services undertook an international #JusticeSolutions study tour, visiting Norway, Germany, Spain, the US and the UK, to analyse evidence of effective justice approaches and how these ideas might be incorporated in Australian justice systems. During the #JusticeSolutions tour, Jesuit Social Services visited detention facilities and diversion programs and talked with their managers and staff. We also met with senior justice personnel, nonprofit service providers, academics and youth justice advocates. In this document, we outline our vision for youth justice in Australia, and the steps we must take to realise it.