Aboriginal imprisonment is national issue: Greens
The Australian Greens have thrown their support behind the Justice Reinvestment for Aboriginal Young People campaign, which is being launched in New South Wales today.
Whilst criminal justice policy is usually seen as the responsibility of the states and territories, Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright, emphasised that Aboriginal imprisonment was a national problem that needed national attention.
"The Australian Greens have been calling on the Federal Government to adopt a national justice reinvestment approach in conjunction with the states and territories since 2010," Senator Wright said.
"As a first step, the Gillard Government must urgently develop new justice-related targets for inclusion in Closing the Gap. Indigenous imprisonment rates are strongly interrelated with poor outcomes in health, employment and education and we will not fix one without addressing the others.
"Extreme incarceration of Aboriginal people, especially young people, is not making communities safer. Every time a young person goes to jail, their potential to lead a productive life and contribute to their community is squandered.
"Justice Reinvestment has worked in the US to reduce crime, strengthen communities and save money and it can work here too."