A report into Aboriginal incarceration rates in Australia that focuses on the plight of Aboriginal women being disproportionately imprisoned needs to be considered as a matter of urgency by Government if they are serious about close the gap efforts, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“The compelling report released by the Human Rights Law Centre and Change the Record shows that Aboriginal women are over-represented and over-looked in the justice system. It discusses what Aboriginal people on the ground have been saying for a while – paternalistic approaches that imprison women for petty crime is further throwing women and their families into disadvantage.
“The report calls on states and territories to implement Custody Notification Services. We need states and territories to move on funding offered by the Federal Government so it can rollout consistently across the country. It has worked in NSW, it can work elsewhere.
“It also calls for the implementation of justice targets to help close the gap on incarceration rates by 2040. Over and over again different reports and different Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders and communities have called for justice targets. Although the Prime Minister has softened in this space, Minister Scullion is digging his heels in and refuses to implement them. I urge Minister Scullion to listen to those who know best.
“This is another report that provides valuable insight into how we can close the gap when it comes to Aboriginal incarceration rates. I urge the Government to act on its rhetoric and actually listen to people who are offering viable solutions”.