June 22, 2020 |
We stand with Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS), Djirra and Aboriginal community-controlled organisations and community groups in their fight to end Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody.
We recognise the ongoing injustices perpetrated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and we stand with them in fighting for self-determination and equality.
Through the work of our member organisations, we see the over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people including mothers and children and youth.
Since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody was established more than 30 years ago we have seen more than 400 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders die in police custody. These deaths could have been prevented.
According to the Australian Institutes of Health and Welfare, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are significantly more likely to be hospitalised and experience higher rates of death as a result of violence than non-Indigenous Australians.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 13 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Indigenous Australians.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders aged 10-17 make up 49% of those under youth justice supervision.
These outcomes are not and should not be acceptable in a fair and just society.
We support VALS and Djirra in their calls for the implementation of all recommendations from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody. We support their calls for ensuring greater police accountability and oversight in response to deaths in custody and raising the age of criminal responsibility for children from 10 to 14 years.
The Federation of Community Legal Centres is committed to fighting for a community that is fair, inclusive and thriving, where every person belongs and can learn, grow heal, participate and be heard.