communal justice

There’s an excellent opinion piece in the Herald Sun today about the prison system and communal justice. It’s written by Father Joe Caddy, Catholic prison chaplain in Melbourne.

[that’s a first from me! ‘excellent opinion piece in the Herald Sun’!]

I’ve been reading prison statistics this morning over breakfast, in preparation for the communal justice workshop we’re running on May 10th. Over 85% of the prison population didn’t finish secondary school. It reminds me of some research I read earlier in the year which said that in many US states, projections about the number of prison beds required in 10 years are calculated using the current rates of illiteracy in 11 year olds.

I was reading the Transition from Custody to Community report last night, which describes the issues surrounding re-entry to the community in Victoria. It highlighted the problem that most information about transition programs is communicated via written resources. A large number of prisoners can’t read them.

The whole system is fundamentally flawed.


  1. Sue

    “An excellent opinion piece in the Herald Sun”. Goodness gracious. That makes me feel as weird and surreal as I did watching a girl practising her unicycling while waiting for a train at Tottenham Station the other day 🙂

    Thanks for the heads up. I don’t touch that smelly thing with a barge pole, but this whole area really interests me. Cheers.

  2. Up here in NSW the Department of Corrective Services has just funded a pilot of a Community Chaplaincy. Based in Newcastle and auspiced by The Samaritians Foundation, it has employed a fullitme community Chaplain who will be working with inmates and their families upon their release – it is a first an i it works wil be rolled pout across the state (over time ad i stages of course.) If you Contact Rev Rod Moore (tell him Greg Colby said to say hi) at NSW Department of Corrective Services, he could tell you more about it

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