Communities and Justice

Justice Reinvestment

What is Justice Reinvestment?

Justice Reinvestment is an approach that supports Aboriginal communities to find local solutions to local issues. The aim of Justice Reinvestment is to resource communities to develop and deliver solutions that reduce contact with the criminal justice system, including the police, courts, and prison.

It aims to support communities to identify the reasons why people end up in the criminal justice system in the first place, and then come up with a plan and programs that can make real change.

Justice Reinvestment is about thinking beyond the criminal justice system, understanding the underlying causes of offending, and coming up with impactful, local solutions. This may be implemented through initiatives that address interactions with the criminal justice system itself and/or address the social determinants of crime, which can include: out-of-home care, poor school education, early police contact, unsupported mental health and cognitive disability, drug and alcohol use, unstable housing, and other factors. 

The NSW Justice Reinvestment Grant Program

The NSW Justice Reinvestment Grant Program has been created to provide funding to Aboriginal communities in NSW to do Justice Reinvestment work.

Up to $7.5 million (excluding GST) in funding is available across three years from June 2024 to June 2027. Funding can be used by Aboriginal organisations to: 

  • create or support community governance and consultation
  • investigate issues, including by using data, research or through local community meetings  
  • develop a plan for change, including specific programs and/or options for reform  
  • implement or pilot options or programs already developed by the community to address identified issues.

The NSW Justice Reinvestment Grant Program has two stages. Stage 1 is now closed:

Stage One – Expression of Interest (EOI)

Opened: 9am on Tuesday 23 January 2024

Closed 5pm on Monday 18 March 2024

Purpose: The first stage was to make sure organisations were eligible and to answer some questions that helped DCJ design the Stage 2 assessment criteria to meet the local needs of communities. 

Stage Two – Full Grant Application

Opens: 9am on Tuesday 2 April 2024

Closes: 5pm on Monday 13 May 2024

Purpose: If your organisation or partnership was found to be eligible during Stage 1, you will recieve an invitation to submit a Full Grant Application during Stage 2 on Tuesday 2 April 2024.

In Stage 2 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Community-Controlled organisations (ACCOs) will have access to support from Thirriwirri to submit a full proposal and costing.

If you have questions or require support to apply for the NSW Justice Reinvestment Grant Program, please contact DCJ through

Read the Stage 2 Grant Guidelines (PDF, 224.8 KB)

Read the Frequently Asked Questions.

More on Justice Reinvestment

While Justice Reinvestment is about Aboriginal-led solutions, it is also about government supporting communities to identify issues and develop a plan for change. Government support can include:

  • providing data held by government to help identify and analyse options 
  • creating deeper relationships with local service providers or government agencies to support Justice Reinvestment initiatives and/or remove blockages that may get in the way of reform. 

Justice Reinvestment initiatives:

  • aim to reduce Aboriginal people coming into contact with the justice system
  • are led by Aboriginal people united by a connection to place
  • have a systems focus
  • are informed by data and evidence, including with reference to Indigenous Data Sovereignty and governance principles.

Alignment to National Agreement on Closing the Gap

The NSW Government is committed to working closely and collaboratively with Aboriginal communities to achieve the targets under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. 

Justice Reinvestment is aligned with the following Closing the Gap Targets:

  • Target 10: that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are not overrepresented in the criminal justice system, with a target to reduce the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults held in incarceration by at least 15 per cent by 2031. 
  • Target 11: that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people are not overrepresented in the criminal justice system which, with a target to reduce the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people in detention by 30 per cent. 
  • Target 13: to reduce Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander family violence and abuse against women and children by at least 50%, as progress towards zero.

DCJ is working towards building the connection of this work with the Closing the Gap Priority Reforms.

Further information

If you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Please email

Other Justice Reinvestment funding opportunities

Last updated:

11 Apr 2024