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Abbott's cruel cuts will raise indigenous prison rates

Media Release
Penny Wright 17 Dec 2013

More Aboriginal Australians will end up in jail because of the Abbott Government's cuts to indigenous legal aid, say the Australian Greens.

Spokesperson on legal affairs Senator Penny Wright said the Coalition's decision to cut $9m from legal services showed appalling lack of concern about shameful over-incarceration of Aboriginal people.

"More than one in four prisoners are Aboriginal, despite making up only a fraction of our population. Too many are in jail because of inadequate legal understanding and representation," Senator Wright said.

"As government officials told me in estimates just last month, there is no way to separate out frontline legal assistance services from government cuts.

"Cutting legal aid funding is a cruel and senseless decision which will see more families torn apart and more children lost to the revolving door of incarceration.

"Cutting law reform and policy officers takes away the people who work with Government to address the underlying causes of indigenous disadvantage.

"Today's decision is not the behaviour of a Prime Minister concerned with indigenous issues, it is a Prime Minister willing to sacrifice everything for the bottom line, no matter how cruel."


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