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Recommendations to reduce disproportionate Indigenous incarceration must not be ignored

28 March 2018
 

The Law Council today backed the Australian Law Reform Commission’s (ALRC) Indigenous incarceration report and warned that its compelling recommendations must not be shelved like those from the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody report.

Many of the 35 recommendations released today echo what has been heard in submissions to the Law Council’s Justice Project - including:

Law Council President, Morry Bailes said the disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in incarceration was a ‘national crisis’ requiring immediate action.

“It has been 27 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody found that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were imprisoned at seven times the rate of the general population, yet many of its 339 recommendations remain unimplemented,” Mr Bailes said.

“Today’s ALRC report identifies that this figure has jumped to 14.7 times for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and a staggering 21.2 times for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

“The ALRC report must not go the way of the past Royal Commission report where most of the recommendations are still gathering dust. The ALRC’s recommendations offer a renewed roadmap to end disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in incarceration.

“The proposed justice reinvestment strategies are vital to communities. For decades, research has shown that top-down approaches to social issues do not work and we know top-down approaches do not reduce recidivism, they perpetuate and often drive it.

“We must invest in community-led, partnership-driven approaches and programs to break the cycle of incarceration.” Mr Bailes added that in urgently progressing these recommendations it is important that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities are closely engaged at every stage.

You can access the Law Council’s submission to the ALRC’s report here.

Media contacts:
 

Patrick Pantano: Public Affairs

P. 02 6246 3715     E. Patrick.Pantano@lawcouncil.asn.au

Sonia Byrnes: Communications

P. 0437 078 850     E. Sonia.Byrnes@lawcouncil.asn.au
 

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