IT is horrifying to think that about a third of Queensland’s prison population comprises people who have failed to pay a fine.
It is even more worrying that many of these people are parents of children. The trauma of having a parent behind bars is surely immeasurable on the young minds who are forced to come to terms with this situation.
The emotional as well as physical deprivation faced by so many families is an intolerable burden, not just on the families themselves, but on society as well.
The Queensland Government has introduced the State Penalties Enforcement Register in a bid to reduce the number of fine defaulters in jail. But projections released in March by the Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) show that the state’s average daily prison population is expected to continue to increase in the next two years.
This is an indication that a further review of the sentencing system needs to be considered.