The shocking abuse of Aboriginal children in our justice system, exposed by Four Corners in Australia’s Shame, has sparked a national debate and posed a glaring challenge to us all – there must be a better way. Four Corners followed up last night (19 September 2016 on ABC) with an alternative vision in Backing Bourke.

This inspiring episode focusses on Dusseldorp Forum partner, Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project in Bourke (North-West NSW) – an innovative, community-led initiative that aims to demonstrate how justice reinvestment approaches can reduce prison populations, save money, and build stronger communities and brighter futures for Aboriginal young people.

Justice reinvestment is a smarter approach to justice that builds stronger communities by redirecting money that would be spent on prisons into community services and supports. It is about addressing the underlying causes of crime and preventing it from happening in the first place.

Since 2013, Just Reinvest NSW (an independent, non-profit, member-based organisation) has been working in partnership with the Bourke Community to develop a justice reinvestment framework. The Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project is the first major justice reinvestment project in Australia.

Visit the Just Reinvest NSW website for more information about the project and if you missed the Four Corners episode you can catch it below.

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You can also help spread the word about this important initiative using this package of content developed by Just Reinvest NSW, which you can download here.

The work that’s being carried out in Bourke is becoming the catalyst for the rest of the nation.

Alistair Ferguson, Executive Director Maranguka Justice Reinvestment Project