The Change the Record (CTR) Coalition has today welcomed the release of a major report by the Senate Finance and Public Administration Reference Committee into ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander experience of law enforcement and justice services’. This report makes a number of critical recommendations aimed at improving justice outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, including adequate support for legal assistance services.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are currently 13 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Indigenous Australians. At the same time Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are 34 times more likely to be hospitalised due to family violence than non-Indigenous women. These issues are compounded by a number of significant barriers to accessing legal assistance services and the lack of a holistic, coordinated whole-of-government approach aimed at addressing the underlying drivers of imprisonment and violence rates.