Risk Management should be the primary goal of our Justice system

On both sides of the justice debate, the focus is all to often on punishment or rehabilitation. Very rarely is it on risk management, which should be the primary driver of all sentencing, bail and parole decisions. The benefit of both longer sentences and rehabilitation (when it works which it does some of the time) is that it reduces or ideally eliminates risk to both the victim and the wider public.

In this regard, we feel that the Justice system has a lot to learn from the airline industry who over time have developed an extremely risk averse approach to their business, with a high degree of accountability that is lacking in the justice sector currently.

Accountability is a key factor in risk management, and the lack of it explains the many times that offenders have reoffended against new victims or even against the same victim when there was ample evidence that the offender was always going to be an ongoing risk to that victim or to society at large. The Christie Marceau case is an example where the same victim was revictimised resulting in her death despite evidence presented by psychologists that the offender posed an ongoing risk. Numerous drink drivers have gone on to claim further victims, again when the evidence clearly suggested that they too posed an ongoing risk. And these mistakes are repeated over and over again.

By contrast the airline industry honestly and thoroughly examines every incident, especially where lives are lost, and makes changes to prevent the same thing happening again. As a result air travel is now one of the safest possible ways to get from A to B, and far safer than driving. The fact that not only recidivist drink drivers  but many recidivist violent offenders are able to drive and do so may have more than a little to do with that.

By making sentencing and all other judicial decision making driven by risk management above all, we can take a great deal of emotion out of the debate on both sides, along with ideological and political considerations which should have no place in risk management. Likewise we can also remove all considerations of race from the process, they also have no place in any risk management process.

By making the safety of victims and of the wider public the sole focus of the entire justice sector we should be able to make society safer for all of us, which is one of the primary functions of good government, or should be.

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Do you want to make a difference?
Due to growing demand, the Sensible Sentencing Trust (SST) and Sensible Sentencing Group Trust (SSGT) are on the search to grow our advocating teams.
I'm Interested
Thank You
We will be in contact with more information soon!
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