A coalition of justice groups representing more than 100 legal services around the country have released a five point plan to reduce Indigenous incarceration.
The five point plan includes:
- The repeal of punitive bail laws, mandatory sentencing laws and the decriminalisation of public drunkenness laws.
- The raising of the age of legal responsibility from ten to 14 years, in line with the United Nations recommendation.
- More independent oversight of police and deaths in custody and an end to solitary confinement in prisons.
Finally, the groups say federal and state governments must implement all the recommendations from the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
The coalition of groups behind the reform plan include the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, the Human Rights Law Centre, the Change the Record campaign and the Law Society of Australia.
The coalition of groups say the changes could be introduced “tomorrow, if the political will” exists.
The Human Rights Law Centre has also called on the Federal Government to respond to a 2018 Law Reform Commission into the incarceration rates of Indigenous people, the Pathways to Justice report.
Many of the group’s reform recommendations are already contained within the recommendations of the Pathways to Justice report.
The Commonwealth Government is yet to formally respond to the report.