JustSpeak Responds To Call For Sentencing And Parole Change Petition From Diane Hunt
Today Diane Hunt, mother of police officer Constable Matthew Hunt, delivers a petition to parliament asking for changes to the Sentencing Act 2002 and Parole Act 2002, whereby anyone convicted of murdering a police officer would receive a mandatory life sentence with parole automatically denied.
JustSpeak Director Tania Sawicki Mead says that while all of us want our families to be safe at work, harsher penalties will only continue to take us down the path of an ineffective justice system that hurts all of us .
“Our hearts are with the Hunt family, and all families whose loved ones haven’t returned from a day at work. We are also acutely aware of the damage that has been done by impulsive legislative changes in response to sentinel events, including the ballooning number of people in our prisons following introduction of Three Strikes legislation and the 2013 changes to the Bail Amendment Act.
“At times like this we need to work collectively to find solutions that keep everyone safe. A pragmatic response to harm is needed if we truly want to build a future free from violence
“There is overwhelming evidence showing that prisons as the default response to crime increases harm in our communities.
“Better models for justice already
exist. Restorative justice approaches hold people
accountable for harm and violence, while helping victims to
heal. Restorative models for justice are proven to have
better outcomes for people who have been harmed and their
families, supporting wellbeing and safer communities, and
are used internationally to address even the most serious
“The way we do justice is failing, and we cannot continue investing ever-expanding resources into a failing approach and hope to reach different outcomes.
“A better future for everyone requires
that we make pragmatic and commonsense decisions based on
evidence, and that we ensure that the laws which govern our
justice system support the future we want to see - one where
we all get to return home to our loved ones at the end of