Parliamentary Research Brief – Why Western Australia Needs Criminal Justice Reform

Written by:
24 August 2023

Western Australia’s criminal justice system is struggling under the weight of rising incarceration and finite resources to support its over-capacity prison system. New research by the Institute of Public Affairs has established:

  • WA’s incarceration rate is the highest of all states, and is almost 50% higher than the national average.
  • WA prisons are above 100% utilisation, meaning new prisons at immense cost to the taxpayer would need to be built in the absence of reform.
  • Reducing the incarceration of low-risk, non-violent offenders would avoid the need to build new jails, and would save, at a minimum, $350 million per year for taxpayers.

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