This report was prepared in December 2017 by ICJ Australia. The purpose of the report is to inquire into the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in prison and develop recommendations for reform of laws and legal frameworks to reduce their disproportionate incarceration. The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) has had regard to the research, reports, inquiries and action plans referred to in the Terms of Reference. They include consideration of the much larger historical, social and economic context that contributes to the disproportionate incarceration rate, which are both a result and a further cause of disadvantage for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Summary: The ALCR places the disproportionate incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today in social and historical context. It traces the history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ contact with the criminal justice system. They also provide a contemporary picture of the impact of the social determinants of incarceration on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, including education and employment, health and disability, housing and homelessness, and child protection and youth justice.