|Subjects||Criminal justice system|
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Justice Agreement was developed by theAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Board (ATSIAB) and the Queensland Government, and was signed in December 2000. The Agreement lasts until 2011. In December 2004 the Queensland Government invited tenders for an independent evaluation of the Agreement in terms of its outcomes and possible future directions. The long term aim of the Justice Agreement is to reduce Indigenous contact with the criminal justice system to parity with the non-Indigenous rate. The evaluation aimed to assess the effectiveness of the Justice Agreement in meeting its reduced incarceration goals; assess the performance of government agencies in meeting their commitments to the Justice Plan; identify positive initiatives (best practice) and blockages or shortcomings which need to be addressed; and identify additional or alternative strategies that will assist in meeting the outcomes of the Justice Agreement. The evaluation provides clear evidence that there is still much to be done to address the rate of overrepresentation of Indigenous people as both offenders and as victims of crime. This response to the evaluation confirms the Queensland Government’s commitment to take action to redress this imbalance in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and complements other significant whole-of-government initiatives aimed at improving the social, health and economic outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders. Recognising that criminal justice agencies alone can have a limited impact on the multi-faceted nature of Indigenous offending, the response emphasises coordination across government and strong partnerships between government and Indigenous communities.