Unprecedented commitment to tackle Indigenous over-imprisonment

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are 15 times more likely to be in jail than non-Indigenous Australians. An Aboriginal man is more likely to be in jail than enrolled in higher education. While Aboriginal education is improving, Aboriginal imprisonment rates are getting worse, increasing 52 per cent over the past decade; 74 per cent of Aboriginal prisoners have been in jail before and behind each jail sentence lies an irreversible trail of damage to victims, families and communities.

Over the past 18 months, the Human Rights Law Centre, together with our partners the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, has been working to bring key national agencies together to address this national crisis. After several national meetings, we're very pleased to have secured an unprecedented commitment from key agencies to work together on a national campaign to tackle this issue. We have also secured 3 year funding to support the campaign. 

Over the coming months, we will be working with NATSILS and other key partners on recruitment, campaign planning and the launch. Our aim is to show the extent of the crisis and to advocate for evidence-based solutions, highlighting best practice around what works to reduce over-imprisonment and promote community safety. The campaign will look beyond the justice system to develop strategies to address the social, health and financial causes of high Indigenous imprisonment. By promoting the evidence around what works, we firmly believe we can secure government, private, community and philanthropic support to take more targeted action to reduce crime, strengthen communities and cut Indigenous imprisonment.

Agencies committed to the campaign so far include: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS), National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), Indigenous Doctors Association, National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (NFVPLS), National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NAACHO), First Peoples Disability Network Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda, OXFAM Australia, Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTAR), Amnesty International Australia, Sisters Inside and the Federation of Community Legal Centres.


For more information contact:

Ben Schokman on ben.schokman@hrlc.org.au or 0403 622 810