Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in jails still too high

Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in jails still too high

Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in jails still too high

31 May 2011

A campaign to cut the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration by 10% each for ten years, will be launched by Professor Boni Robertson and sponsors McCullough Robertson on 8 June, 2011, in Brisbane.

Project 10%, sponsored by commercial law firm, McCullough Robertson, is a collaboration between ANTaR Qld, Murri Watch and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Legal and Advocacy Service and is seeking community-led solutions to reduce the high rates of imprisonment.

The project is a finalist in this year’s Queensland Reconciliation Awards (winners to be announced 31 May) and was first formed in 2009.

Head of McCullough Robertson’s Community Partnership program, Partner Heather Watson, said the project is working with Indigenous Elders, communities, and key organisations to identify opportunities and prioritise actions that will decrease imprisonment and improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

'A third of all Queensland prisoners are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children,' Ms Watson said.

'Project 10% is working with local communities to build resilience among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly young people, in an effort steer them from contact with the criminal justice system,' Ms Watson said.

'At the same time, they are lobbying government for better resourcing of community projects and improved sentencing options.'

'Project 10% asks ‘what works?’, ‘what would work if properly resourced and supported?’, and ‘what is missing?’

'We’re very excited to be supporting such a worthwhile project and consider this an important part of our overall reconciliation strategy.'

Project 10% recently made a submission to the Queensland Government outlining the five key areas to address imprisonment: at risk groups, including young people, contact with police, remand and sentencing, in-prison programs and post-release support.

Further information

For more information contact: Kristie Fankhauser on +61 7 3233 8876.

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