Indigenous incarceration: a ‘catastrophe’
In related news, the issue of over-representation of Indigenous Australians in prisons is, according to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mick Gooda, a ‘catastrophe’ which left him shocked.
Statistics released by the federal governments Productivity Commission in November show a 57 per cent rise in incarceration rates among Indigenous men, women and children over the past 15 years with the conclusion that, nationally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are 15 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Indigenous Australian.
‘That is a catastrophe in anyone’s language,’ said Mr Gooda. In his 2014 Social Justice and Native Title Report, Mr Gooda urged the federal government to adopt a justice target in its Closing the Gap strategy that would reduce the current rate of Indigenous incarceration.