Skip navigation

Jailing Is Failing

Our criminal justice system is not working. Past Governments of both political persuasions have been responsible for more than doubling the Australian prison population over recent decades. The Australian imprisonment rate (per 100,000 of adult population) has surged over the last  three decades, from 119.2 in 1993 to 202.3 in 2023. It is now time to critically examine the evidence which shows that jailing is failing us all.

Successful bipartisan reform initiatives internationally show us there is another way. It’s time for governments to listen and accept the evidence for reform.

It’s time to admit it – jailing is failing.


Jailing is failing children. Most children who enter the youth justice system (including children as young as 10) come from backgrounds where they have already experienced disadvantage and trauma, with a significant...
Read more


Jailing is failing women. In Australia the vast majority of incarcerated women have themselves survived crime in the form gendered violence. This includes many women who have survived family and domestic violence. Women’s incarceration...
Read more


Jailing is failing Australian taxpayers. In addition to being harmful and ineffective, imprisonment is also extremely expensive. The cost of adult incarceration in Australia is more than $6.3 billion per annum. The cost...
Read more


Jailing is failing the most disadvantaged. The majority of people incarcerated in Australia come from circumstances where they have experienced multiple and intersecting disadvantages. There are eight social determinants that increase the likelihood...
Read more

Sign Up To Find Out More