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What Australia must do to stop becoming an incarceration nation

Australia’s imprisonment rate has increased three-fold over the past 30 years.

Australia is regrettably following the United States lead and becoming a nation of captives.

The unabated tough on crime policy is creating an unprecedented humanistic toll on inmates and their relatives as well an increasingly intolerable financial burden on the tax payer.

The United States has finally realised that this approach does not work and is implementing drastic measures to reduces its imprisonment numbers, including simply releasing early thousands of offenders. Australia needs to urgently reform its sentencing system to avoid a humanistic and fiscal crisis stemming from its crude and gratuitously harsh sentencing laws.

Professor Bagaric has written extensively in the United States on how prison numbers can be reduced without any reduction in community safety. Several of his key arguments are set out in his forthcoming article: 'Saving the United States from lurching to another sentencing crisis: taking proportionality seriously and implementing fair fixed penalties'.

His solutions to the impending incarceration crisis will be set out in the seminar hosted the by Deakin University Centre for Evidence-based Sentencing.

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