In the last 12 months, Victoria recorded the second largest increase in Aboriginal imprisonment rates in Australia. Aboriginal people are now 13 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Aboriginal Victorians.
The conversation with the HRLC’s Director of International Advocacy, Ben Schokman, and the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service's Principal Legal Officer, Meena Singh, was facilitated by RN Drive’s Patricia Karvelas and covered the need to pursue smarter policies that treat the causes of crime, not just the symptoms.
The panel looked at examples of what is currently working, discuss the role of Aboriginal communities in driving change, and look at a new national campaign recently launched to Change the Record on Aboriginal over-imprisonment.
Download the audio here:
Meena is a Yorta Yorta Woman and commenced work with the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service as the Strategic Advisor and is now the Principle Legal Officer. She has a background in legal education, consulting and adult training, and was a senior lawyer with Victoria Legal Aid, practising in criminal, human rights and civill law.
Ben has recently returned from a nine month Myer Innovation Fellowship where he researched international, national and innovative ways of reducing Aboriginal over-imprisonment.
Patricia is the host of Radio National's Drive program. Prior to this she was a senior journalist at The Australian and often featured in the paper's Indigenous Affairs section.