A community led approach to justice reinvestment: impact of Maranguka Justice Reinvestment in Bourke and potential benefits for other communities and government

Stream: Social policy as re-investment: can justice (re-) investment overcome fiscal constraints on social spending?
Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Time: 1.25 pm – 2.25 pm


Justice reinvestment originated in the US in 2003 as a strategy for redirecting a portion of funds allocated for prisons into addressing underlying causes of crime in high-incarceration neighbourhoods. While original proponents saw a place-based focus as a key element of justice reinvestment, implementation in the US has moved towards a focus on changes to criminal justice system processes. In Australia, justice reinvestment has largely been promoted as a strategy for strengthening Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and the over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and a place-based, community-led focus has been central. In 2013, Maranguka in Bourke, NSW partnered with Just Reinvest NSW to develop a justice reinvestment ‘proof of concept’. Maranguka Justice Reinvestment has adopted a collective impact framework through which activities have been designed to create change within the community and the justice system. Activities include: Aboriginal leaders inspiring a grassroots movement for change amongst local community members, facilitating collaboration and alignment across the service system, delivering new community based programs and service hubs, and partnering with justice agencies such as the police, to evolve their procedures, behaviour and operations towards a proactive and reinvestment model of justice. In 2018, KMPG undertook an impact assessment of Maranguka Justice Reinvestment, analysing changes in Bourke between 2016 and 2017. The Report found these changes resulted in a gross economic impact of $3.1 million in one year. Of this amount, approximately two-thirds related to the justice system.


Karly Warner (Presenter), Just Reinvest NSW / Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT
Karly Warner is a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman and lawyer who grew up on Dhudhuroa country. Karly is the Chief Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT Limited. Karly joined the ALS after a number of years leading the peak body the National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Legal Services. Previously, Karly was a practicing lawyer at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, with experience working across criminal, civil, children, youth and family law, and has also worked
within a legal policy role in state government.

Joanna Lunzer (Presenter), Just Reinvest NSW
Joanna Lunzer is the Policy & Advocacy Coordinator for Just Reinvest NSW. She has been with Just Reinvest NSW since 2015. Prior to this Joanna worked in research and project management positions including at the Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, the NSW Reconciliation Council and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. Joanna has also served as a board member for ANTaR NSW.

Jenny Lovric (Presenter), Just Reinvest NSW
Jenny Lovric joined Just Reinvest NSW in 2018 to lead their community engagement project. Jenny has worked in the access to justice sector for over 20 years. She started at Redfern Legal Centre as a law student, and has since worked as a Judge's and Research Associate at the Federal, the Crown Solicitor’s Office, the NSW Law Reform Commission, the Australian Pro Bono Centre, CHOICE and as an independent consultant and evaluator on justice-related programs in the access to justice sector.