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Victorian Indigenous incarceration rate increases shows change in justice system needed says Peter Walsh
Report shows Victoria's justice system is failing Indigenous communities, with 91% increase in incarceration since 2012, opposition calls for change.
Victoria's justice system is failing, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over-represented in the prison system. Today's State of Incarceration report shows that since 2012, Victoria's incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has recorded a 91 percent increase, higher than Western Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory. It is almost double the national average, almost double New South Wales or South Australia, and around four times higher than Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Victoria's approach is failing Indigenous communities who are overrepresented in the prison system
Victoria's justice system fails
This is compared to Victoria's non-Indigenous incarceration rate rising by 24 per cent over that same period. Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Peter Walsh, said these statistics show the failings of Victoria's justice system. "Victoria's current approach isn't working and it's failing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who are disproportionately represented in these statistics."
"Through the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, Victoria agreed to a target of reducing the rate of First Peoples in incarceration by at least 15 per cent before 2031. The Andrews Labor government is failing to meet this target and the gap with our state's non-Indigenous population is only widening."
While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up just 1 percent of Victoria's population, they comprise 12 percent of the state's adult prison population. "The Liberals and Nationals are committed to working with Indigenous Victorians on closing the gap and addressing the persistent disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people," Mr Walsh said.
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