The Northern Territory has released its long-awaited Aboriginal Justice Agreement, with hopes the reforms will reduce crime and Indigenous imprisonment rates.
The NT government and Aboriginal and community organisation leaders on Monday signed a plan to make the justice system fairer for Aboriginal Territorians.
The seven-year agreement aims to improve the way the justice system responds to Aboriginal Territorians by supporting their leadership.
It also provides courts with more sentencing options to better address Aboriginal offending and reoffending, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Selena Uibo says.
“This agreement is a momentous step towards improving the lives of Aboriginal Territorians and the safety of all Territorians,” she told reporters on Monday.
The reforms include establishing local law and justice groups, introducing community courts and expanding access to programs that address the root causes of offending.
Ms Uibo says the reforms will ensure Aboriginal Territorians who are in contact with the justice system are treated fairly, respectfully, and without discrimination.
The NT government developed the AJA with Aboriginal organisations and NGOs.
Over three years, the Aboriginal Justice Unit visited more than 160 communities to talk with stakeholders.
Australian Associated Press