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Exploring the Impact of International Models of Criminal Justice on the Australian System

In the vast landscape of criminal justice systems worldwide, Australia's approach stands as a testament to its colonial history and the influence of international models. Rooted deeply in British traditions, the Australian justice system has evolved, attempting to integrate elements from varied international paradigms. Yet, as the sun casts its long shadow over the outback, the flaws in this approach become glaringly apparent.

Central to the discourse on criminal justice is the philosophy of carceral proponents. They advocate for a system where punishment acts as a deterrent, an idea that resonates with rational thinkers. The underlying presumption is that individuals, driven by self-interest, will avoid actions that lead to undesirable consequences.

However, as we traverse the global landscape of justice, we find diverse systems, each with its own strengths and challenges. Scandinavian countries, for example, prioritize rehabilitation over retribution, focusing on the reintegration of offenders into society. However, due to government intervention on media entities, most wouldn't know it, property crime rates, murder rates, and sexual abuse rates continue to skyrocket. In contrast, the US, with its punitive approach, has one of the world's highest incarceration rates, yet in locations with strong sentences on crimes and the death penalty, their rates of crime per 100,000 are relatively low.

Drawing from my own experience and consulting on various security strategies, it's evident that a one-size-fits-all approach is ill-suited for a nation as unique as Australia. The insights from public security experts underscore the importance of understanding the local context when devising security and justice strategies.

Australia's attempt to graft elements from different international models has resulted in a system that, while diverse, lacks cohesion, and I have often highlighted the importance of a consistent and transparent justice system. In Australia's case, the myriad influences have sometimes led to contradictions in policy and practice, rendering the system ineffective in many areas.

In my analysis of justice systems, I would emphasise that socio-economic factors drive criminal behaviour. Australia's unique challenges, including its indigenous population's marginalization, require solutions tailored to its context rather than borrowed wholesale from other nations. The failure to address these root causes leads to a disproportionate representation of indigenous Australians in the criminal justice system, a stain on the nation's conscience, and a blight to many "Moral Exhibitionists.".

I have explored the role of community engagement in enhancing public security. In the Northern Territory's context, when we in security engage with the communities, we lower tension and increase trust, making our job easier and deterring crime. Many of those communities have an entirely different view when it comes to police law enforcement, due to past interventions and a lack of meaningful engagement with indigenous communities and other marginalized groups and gangs, which has exacerbated tensions and mistrust. The top-down approach, influenced by international models, often fails to consider the local nuances and complexities.

The very metrics by which we measure the success or failure of a justice system need introspection. An over-reliance on incarceration rates as a measure of effectiveness is myopic. Instead, we should consider factors such as recidivism rates, community integration, and the overall well-being of those who come in contact with the justice system. We must also consider the cultural and historical significance of many communities, tribes, and clans using "banishment" or trespass as a tool to impose a NIMBY (not in my backyard) option.

The broken windows theory highlights the importance of addressing minor offenses to prevent larger crimes. While this theory has its critics, its essence lies in the idea of early intervention and proactive measures. Australia's system, heavily influenced by reactive models from other nations, often misses the opportunity to address issues before they escalate.

As much as the residents of major towns and cities hate the idea, the use of "banishment" or trespass on offenders for carefully considered lengths of time is an alternative to spearing or allowing family "payback", which in many cases ends up being generational and causes tribal wars that have lasted for decades. The community puts the offender on a bus and sends them away for several seasons. the result shifts the bad behavior to another locality. However, as many in the communities will concur with, the alternative is far more destructive.

Where does Australia go from here? The narrative suggests a journey of introspection and evolution. Rather than looking outward for solutions, Australia must delve deep into its soul, understanding its unique challenges and strengths.

There's a pressing need for genuine community engagement. Policies and practices must be co-created with those they impact, ensuring they are relevant and effective. Any security officer or police officer knows that the majority of the offenses are carried out by the same families and groups. The traditional method was to wipe out the clan overwhelmingly. However, several elders have asked why we can't just stick them all on a bus and trespass them from the NT for 12 months at a time.

The reliance on British and Commonwealth traditions has seen some of the most egregious offenders receive police protection from clans and communities. This inability to enact payback or retribution has created massive divides between the indigenous communities and the state and territory governments. Any attempt to rebuild trust in many of these communities involves acknowledging past wrongs, particularly towards indigenous communities, and taking steps towards reconciliation and traditional retributive inclusivity.

Secondly, the focus should be malleable; not every tribe believes in rehabilitation, so having these programs thrust on them goes directly against their "payback" system. Some systems need to focus on prevention and punishment. This may change with greater assimilation in the future; however, the hubris of those on the east coast that seek to impose their narccism by considering their beliefs better than the traditional indiginous beliefs and lack of empathy (imposed psychopathy) towards the judicial needs and wants of the locals is disgusting.

Changes in culture require significant investment in social programs, education, and community development, addressing the root causes of crime rather than its symptoms. However, the modern attempts at pushing "rehabilitation" down the throats of community elders need to stop, if only to listen to the virtues of the other side's argument.

Australia must be willing to innovate, drawing from its rich tapestry of cultures, histories, and experiences. While international models can offer insights, they cannot replace a homegrown approach tailored to Australia's unique context. This is an AND nation, not an or/if one. There is no one "aboriginal" person; there are 14 different indigenous languages spoken in my birthtown of Darwin alone. We cannot claim to be truly multicultural when we have light skinned academics seeking to push their values and belief systems down the throats of those they consider to be "primitive". The most recent attempt to add even greater levels of evidently failing bureaucracies by self-proclaimed communists down the throat of Australians is yet another example of those with Dark Triad behavioural traits seeking to disenfranchise hundreds of communities to gain power and money, whilst profiting from the pain of others. What was the point of granting some a louder voice, when none could even bother to listen?

While Australia's justice system has its flaws, it also has the potential for greatness. By looking inward, valuing its cultural diversity, and prioritising community needs over ideologies, Australia can chart new courses toward a just, fair and secure future. As we embark on this journey, let's remember that true justice is not merely the absence of crime but the presence of fairness, and community well-being. From the author. The opinions and statements are those of Sam Wilks and do not necessarily represent whom Sam Consults or contracts to. Sam Wilks is a skilled and experienced Security Consultant with almost 3 decades of expertise in the fields of Real estate, Security, and the hospitality/gaming industry. His knowledge and practical experience have made him a valuable asset to many organizations looking to enhance their security measures and provide a safe and secure environment for their clients and staff.

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