See the News archive for news from previous years.
This report by the NSW Ombudsman, tabled in Parliament on 31 January 2013, has called for urgent action to address a chronic failure to fill vacant positions, improve the effectiveness of government service delivery and strengthen the accountability of government agencies and NGOs, especially in high-need locations in remote parts of the state. The report is the fourth in a series completed as part of the Ombudsman’s three year audit of the implementation of the Interagency Plan to Tackle Child Sexual Assault in Aboriginal Communities. Its 93 recommendations focus on improving systems and services to respond to Aboriginal child sexual abuse, and to address disadvantage in Aboriginal communities more broadly.
The report and media release are available on the NSW Ombudsman’s website www.ombo.nsw.gov.au:
- Report to Parliament: Responding to child sexual assault in Aboriginal communities, 2012
- Media release: Ombudsman calls for better and more effective action on Aboriginal child sexual abuse
Copies of the other public reports in the series are also available on the NSW Ombudsman’s website:
- Special report to Parliament: Addressing Aboriginal disadvantage - the need to do things differently, 2011
- Special report to Parliament: Inquiry into service provision to the Bourke and Brewarrina communities, 2010
New Report by Deloitte Access Economics: Economic Analysis for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Offenders: Prison vs Residential Treatment
This report prepared by Deloitte Access Economics for the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee of the Australian National Council on Drugs Research, examines the patterns and prevalence of Indigenous people in the prison system; outlines the impact and implications of incarceration of Indigenous people; and analyses the costs and benefits of addressing Indigenous problematic alcohol and drug use with treatment, particularly residential rehabilitation, as compared to prison.
Download the report at:
The Prime Minister reports annually on progress in Closing the Gap. This is the fifth annual report, tabled in Parliament on 6 February 2013. Progress against the safe communities building block is reported from page 113 of the Report.
Download the report at:
Findings from National Assessment of Australia's Children's Courts: Indigenous Children Receiving Harsher Sentences
A three-year study, the National Assessment of Australia's Children's Courts has found that Indigenous children, and children in regional and remote areas, are receiving harsher sentences. Key findings include: that many children are being held in remand because of a lack of options, that increased diversion from courts has meant that cases are now more complex than in the past, and there is a need for more specialist magistrates in remote/regional areas. Findings will be published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology later in 2013.
For more information go to:
New Research from AIC: Examining Indigenous Disparity in Lower Court Imprisonment Decisions in SA & NSW
This paper reports findings from statistical analyses of Indigeneity and lower court sentencing in NSW and SA from 1998 to 2008. The aim was to explore the probability of Indigenous versus non-Indigenous defendants receiving a prison sentence over time, while controlling for other key sentencing determinates (ie sex, age, criminal history, seriousness of current offence, plea, bail status). Across the study period, results generally showed that Indigenous offenders were more likely to receive a prison term than similarly situated non-Indigenous offenders.
Download the paper at:
This report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) examines the numbers and characteristics of Indigenous young people in the juvenile justice system, the types of supervision they experience, recent trends, and associated research findings. Although only about 5% of young Australians are Indigenous, almost 2 in 5 (39%) of those under juvenile justice supervision on an average day in 2010-11 were Indigenous. There were 2,820 Indigenous young people under supervision on an average day and 5,195 during the year. Indigenous young people first entered supervision at younger ages than non-Indigenous young people, on average, and spent longer under supervision during the year.
Download the report at:
The Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC) has released the latest Information Service Alert on recent Indigenous Justice research. These monthly alerts include new key reports, books, journal articles and websites. All items are available on interlibrary loan through the JV Barry Library (AIC).
Download the alert at:
The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples has developed a National Justice Policy with the support of the Congress Board, Delegates and the Justice Working Group, which comprises expert advisors working in the justice sector. The policy advocates five evidence based recommendations that respond to the experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in contact with the justice system.
Download the policy at: http://nationalcongress.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/CongressJusticePolicy.pdf
Final call for funding submissions: Australian Government's Indigenous Justice Program 2013-14 to 2015-16
The funding round opened on Wednesday 5 December 2012 and will close on Friday 15 February 2013. The Program provides funding for projects to reduce adverse contact of Indigenous Australians with the criminal justice system. The objective is to support safer communities by reducing Indigenous offending, and through that, reduce Indigenous victimisation and incarceration. Apply online via link below. If you do not have access to the internet or email, or have any difficulties submitting the application on time, or have any other questions please call the Indigenous Justice Section on (02) 6141 4822. Please note that the application form can take up to 30 seconds to download.
For more information and to apply online, go to: http://www.ag.gov.au/LegalSystem/IndigenousLaw/Pages/Indigenousjusticeprogram.aspx