Despite 2 per cent of the ACT’s population identifying as Indigenous, 27 per cent of Canberra’s prisons are occupied by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
In response the ACT government alongside the Jumbunna Institute at the University of Technology Sydney will lead a review into the over representation of First Nations peoples in Canberra’s justice system.
In a media release, the territory’s Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury says the review will be an extensive and impartial look at the crisis.
“The ACT Government is committed to reducing the over-representation of First Nations people in the justice system.”
Yuallaraay man and professor Lindon Coombes will be leading the review.
He says the extent of First Nations incarceration in the territory needs to be addressed.
“Jumbunna brings together a highly skilled team to conduct this review. We will work closely with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community in the ACT to develop practical recommendations for the ACT Government.
“Working together, we are confident we can bring about the necessary changes.”
Minister for Corrections and Justice Health Emma Davidson says listening to First Nations voices will lead to better outcomes for the entire community.
“A justice system that focuses on the needs of the individual will mean better life outcomes for them and a safer community.
Too many First Nations people are cycling in and out of our justice system which shows we need improved, culturally appropriate and holistic health and social services in the community.
Doing this right will reduce harmful behaviour and improve life outcomes for Canberra’s First Nations communities.”