Indigenous Australians are among the most incarcerated people on Earth. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders make up 2% of all Australians, yet constitute more than a quarter of the nation’s prison population. Over-representation in the criminal justice system by Indigenous men, women and young people is a persistent and growing problem.
What are the reasons for these high imprisonment rates; and what reforms are being proposed to reduce Indigenous people’s contact with the criminal justice system? Are ‘tough on crime’ policies flouting deaths in custody recommendations and further entrenching Indigenous disadvantage before the law? After the recent Northern Territory Royal Commission, prompted by the exposure of shocking abuses, has anything changed in relation to youth detention?
This book examines the latest research and statistics on Indigenous imprisonment, and reviews progress on addressing Aboriginal deaths in custody recommendations and reforming the detention of young Indigenous people. How can governments reduce incarceration and commit to working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities to implement overdue interventions? What will it take to unlock the problems of Indigenous inequality and over-representation in the criminal justice system?