The Challenge

The Northern Territory justice system locks up more people than anywhere in the country, but property crime is increasing, and our prisons hold the record for reoffending rates. 

On any given day almost one out of every 100 adults in the Northern Territory are in prison. This is more than Texas, the incarceration capital of the US, and higher than China. But prison has not led to less crime – it has only increased reoffending rates.

Adult imprisonment rate per 100,000 adults

Within two years of exiting prison, six out of 10 people have returned to prison. Clearly, this ‘revolving door to prison’ just doesn’t work.

The most effective way to reduce crime is to prevent it occuring in the first place and that means diverting people from the criminal justice system – especially prison.

There are smarter ways to keep Territorians safe that also give our young people the best chance of getting their lives back on track.

For vulnerable communities, incarceration rates are even worse

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are 24 times more likely to end up in prison than non-Indigenous children.

It costs Northern Territory taxpayers $1.4 million per year to keep each child in prison. There is a better way to invest in a safer community.

Let’s give people a chance at success

More than 80 percent of people who leave prison expect to be homeless, while 70 per cent of those who enter prison were recently homeless.

Just one in four people leaving prison have lined up some form of work.

People with nowhere to go and nothing to do are at a much higher risk of reoffending. 

People can be better supported to turn their lives around, which means a safer community for all of us.

Are you ready to support change in the NT Justice system?