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Deaths in Custody

NSW Bar Association calls for a new approach to Aboriginal imprisonment

ABORIGINAL INCARCERATION

The Bar Association of NSW's submission to a Law Reform Commission inquiry into First Nations incarceration calls for a new approach to sentencing which takes into account the deprivation and disadvantage inherent in an individual's Aboriginal background. The association also calls for an end to mandatory sentences, which make it impossible for courts to make any allowance for such disadvantage in their decisions. The rate at which Aboriginal people end up in jail is appalling and in NSW last year Aboriginal people were 3 per cent of the population, but 24 per cent of the prison population. Read more about NSW Bar Association calls for a new approach to Aboriginal imprisonment

Elijah Doughty and Trayvon Martin: Victims of Modern Vigilantism

In 2012, a self-appointed neighborhood watch member, chased a 17yo African American boy in Florida, and shot him. Last week, a 55-year-old man chased a 14yo Elijah Doughty ran him down with his truck. In USA the court failed to hold the perpetrator accountable, giving rise to the #BlackLivesMatter movement. In each case, a vigilante suspected a young person of colour of wrongdoing and killed him. In each case, the killer executed summary justice. Read more about Elijah Doughty and Trayvon Martin: Victims of Modern Vigilantism

Jail rate for First Nations children is soaring at an alarming rate

Aboriginal youth repeat offender

Figures show that the number of First Nations children being jailed is rising enormously, as the tide of social dysfunction in urban and regional centres has never been properly addressed.

More than 250 indigenous youth in northwestern New South Wales have been sentenced to juvenile prison terms during the past five years compared with only 12 non-Aboriginal children, The Australian newspaper reported.

Figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show the national rate of Aboriginal juvenile incarceration has risen to 31 times the non-indigenous rate and rising.

Read more about Jail rate for First Nations children is soaring at an alarming rate

Treating the cause of crime more effective than only addressing the crime itself

WA Imprisonment rates

With WA Corrective Services spending more than $900 million last financial year and 39 per cent of imprisoned offenders returning to jail within a two year period, Associate Professor Sarah Murray from UWA's Law School said new approaches were needed using local knowledge and bringing the community into the picture. Researchers from The University of Western Australia's Law School have been studying the feasibility model and propose a one stop shop that includes a court, crime prevention team and key support services in partnership with the local community Read more about Treating the cause of crime more effective than only addressing the crime itself

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