Just Published: Justice in Parole by Richard Evans
The rape and murder of Jill Meagher in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick in September 2012 was as horrible a crime as could be imagined. Meagher, twenty-nine, was walking on a street near her home when she caught the attention of an opportunist sexual predator, Adrian Bayley, a man with a long history of violent sexual offences. She was dragged into an alley, brutally raped and then strangled to death. What makes this tragic case worse is that Bayley was on parole when he attacked Jill Meagher. At the time of the murder, Bayley was also on bail, appealing against a three-month sentence for recklessly causing serious injury.
The justice system failed, with disastrous consequences. The lessons of that failure need to be learned, and changes made. However, the horror and anger the Meagher case evoked has morphed into an attack on parole in general.
In the next edition of Arena Magazine (No. 126, pp.20-22), Deakin criminology lecturer Dr Richard Evans argues that the system of parole is vital to the protection of the community, and that a knee-jerk punitive response to the Meagher case will be disastrous.
Access Arena Magazine here.