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Senate to investigate new approach on crime

A new and more economically responsible approach to crime in Australia will be examined by a Senate Inquiry following the success today of a motion by Australian Greens spokesperson on Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee will investigate growing imprisonment rates and the benefits of implementing a Justice Reinvestment approach.

"Our justice system, as it stands, is not producing safer communities and it is time for a new strategy," Senator Wright said.

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Questions Without Notice: Indigenous Suicide

Senator WRIGHT (South Australia) (14:43): My question is to Senator Ludwig representing both the Minister for Indigenous Health and the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing. My question relates to the government's response to the tragic incidence of youth suicide in Indigenous communities. This has recently been highlighted by the Northern Territory inquiry into youth suicide. Unfortunately, this problem is not a new phenomenon. In June 2010 the Senate Community Affairs References Committee report The hidden toll: suicide in Australia acknowledged these issues.

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Indigenous juvenile detention rates need to be a wake-up call

An alarming increase in the number of Indigenous youth in detention should be a wake-up call for the Government to urgently implement policies to address Indigenous overrepresentation in our criminal justice system, the Greens said today.

Numbers in the Productivity Commission’s report on Government services released today show that juvenile detention rates for Indigenous people between 10 and 17 years of age increased by more than 20 per cent in 2009-2010 compared to the previous year, Greens spokesperson for legal affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said.

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Too many deaths, too many Aboriginal people in custody

The tragic death of Aboriginal man Terrance Briscoe who died while in police custody last week shows that it is beyond time the Government finally implemented all 339 recommendations of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the Greens said.

“This sad incident shows that more than 20 years after the Royal Commission first released its recommendations, there is still no real improvement concerning Aboriginal deaths in custody. Much more needs to be done,” Greens spokesperson for legal affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said.

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Penny's Blog - Native Title Success in the Gawler Ranges

Yesterday the Federal Court granted traditional owners native title rights over about 35,000 square kilometres of pastoral lands and national parks in the Gawler Ranges on upper Eyre Peninsula.

This eighth South Australian native title determination is one of the most comprehensive in the state to date.

The fact that the traditional Aboriginal owners now have the right to hunt, fish and camp and have a say in the management of this spectacularly beautiful part of South Australia is a great outcome – their connection to this land goes back many thousands of years.

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Native Title System is Failing Claimants

Greens spokesperson for Native Title, Senator Penny Wright, has congratulated the Eringa and Wangkangurru-Yarluyandi people on the recognition of their native title rights but said native title claims generally took too long to settle.

“One of the three applications in this agreement was lodged 15 years ago. This highlights the many hurdles claimants have to overcome when lodging a native title claim,” Senator Wright said.

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