Indigenous Australians are the most incarcerated people on Earth. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders make up 2% of all Australians, yet constitute 27% 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 death-in-custody recommendations and further entrenching indigenous inequality and disadvantage before the law? After the recent Royal Commission, prompted by shocking abuses at the Don Dale detention centre, has anything changed in relation to youth detention?
This book examines the latest research on indigenous imprisonment rates, and reviews progress on addressing Aboriginal deaths in custody and youth detention reform. How can governments reduce over-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 in the criminal justice system?