Mandatory sentencing findings no surprise: Law Society

p2102elferinkjohnokBy ERWIN CHLANDA


An Alice Springs representative of the NT Law Society, Mark O’Reilly, says it’s not surprising to hear that mandatory sentencing has not worked as a deterrent for violent offenders.


This was concluded after a review of the measure by a team reporting to the NT Department of the Attorney-General and Justice. The team included a senior official of the department, Carolyn Whyte, the director of its Criminal Research and Statistics Unit.


John Elferink (pictured above), the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, has not responded to several requests for comment from the Alice Springs News Online. In his second reading speech, introducing the legislation, Mr Elferink said deterrence was one of its aims.


Mr O’Reilly says there was never any evidence that mandatory sentencing would work as a deterrent: “It is a blunt, ineffective and expensive response to a complex social problem.


“It is also unsurprising to hear that restricting access to alcohol  does reduce instances of violence.


“What we need to do is ensure that there is a fair and effective way to go about that and to include the community.”



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3 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Ian Rennie
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    I must say that for violent offenders there is really little excuse for them not to be imprisoned.

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  2. Ian Rennie
    Posted March 12, 2016 at 7:24 pm

    A few years back, I witnessed an old black couple getting their money out of the bank outlet at Yeperenye and then have it stolen there and then by young rellies.
    That evening I saw the same old couple in Coles, they had a baby with them (obviously a grandchild) and they lifted and hid baby food under their clothing. Naturally a big tough security guard grabbed them and called police and they were arrested by equally big tough police.
    To me the whole thing was pathetic and I have wondered over the years if they were gaoled as it was at the time when mandatory sentencing was introduced in the 90s. This reminds me of Australia’s early convict years when even a child could be sent from England to the Australian penal colony for something petty such as stealing a loaf of bread or a piece of fruit.

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  3. Peter
    Posted March 4, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Blunt, ineffective and expensive? Are we talking about mandatory sentencing here or the entire NT Cabinet?

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