The continued use of punitive sanctions to control and deter criminal behaviour rests upon a general historical misunderstanding of the effectiveness and appropriateness of this method of punishment. The current criminal justice system and the persistent sensationalist ‘get tough’ initiatives by governments, both preceding and current, have previously enjoyed widespread support within South Australia as both politicians and the media promulgate populist perceptions of crime. Citizens have previously been confident in the efficacy of our punitive criminal justice system, and there has been support for harsher penalties that are perceived to contribute to a safer society by increasingly incarcerating people who commit criminal offences. Conversely there has been a growing acknowledgement of the failures of this system to address the sociological contributors to criminal behaviour, and subsequently the development of early intervention and prevention measures.
Visit the Box File to download the Law & Justice Principles Paper, and also the Law & Justice Fact Sheet.
A fully functioning and effective child protection system is vital for the protection of our most vulnerable and at risk children. The potential for a fully funded and comprehensive system to contribute positively to the lives of abused and neglected children is vast; many of the negative and damaging consequences of abuse could be significantly reduced. However, it is clear that the South Australian child protection system is straining under the weight of marked increases in notifications, substantiations and demand for alternative care places. All of this in a sector experiencing difficulty in meeting the needs of the children already within the system.
Visit the Box File in the sidebar to download our Child Protection Principles Paper and also the Fact Sheet.
Poverty is to not have enough of something; often we refer to poverty as not having enough money to afford the basics in life for example somewhere to live, food and clothes. However people can also have poverty of opportunity, in other words they may not have enough control or choice on how they live. For example a person with a physical disability who needs assistance with getting on a bus may not have any choice or control regarding how and when they can travel. This then impacts significantly on whether they can get a job, or even go to the movies.
Poverty and how to define and measure it is a hotly debated topic, and there are many different approaches. The four key approaches are as follows:
Low income — Measures the income of a household, but does not include any assets or other wealth the household might have.
Low Capabilities — This is about the resources and power a person might have.
Social Exclusion — This focuses on barriers that people might face to participating in the community, this can include thing like health issues, discrimination and access to transport.
Material deprivation — In direct relation to the low income approach this focuses on the amount of money a household spends.
An entire chapter of the Blueprint for the eradication of poverty is devoted to the concept of measuring poverty, and can be found on the SACOSS website, www.sacoss.org.au/blueprint
Quite simply, to be disadvantaged is to have less advantage than others. For example if you live in a remote area you might be disadvantaged in looking for work or accessing training courses.
To be vulnerable means that you are at risk of something. For example if you don’t have enough food to eat you are more likely to become sick than someone who does have enough food. Therefore you are vulnerable to ill health. Vulnerable and disadvantage are often used to describe the same thing.