Judicial System

Incarceration / Deaths in Custody / Change the record / Raise the Age / Justice re- investment

Mililma wants to see Don Dale detention centre shut now. If not, she says she’ll empty it

02/07/22 SBS: Five years after a Royal Commission recommended it be shut down, the Don Dale Youth Detention Centre in Darwin remains open, with four self-harm incidents taking place there in the past fortnight. One youth justice activist says there are better solutions.


Family of murdered baby receive apology, pardon from WA Attorney General

22/06/22 Apple News: The WA Attorney General has apologised to the mother and grandfather of an Aboriginal baby who was murdered in a horrific case of domestic violence in 2013. The police failed to intervene, and the baby was kidnapped. Ted, the child’s grandfather was also charged with assaulting police following the traumatic evening. The coroner investigated the death but did not hold an inquest. Mr Bell was sentenced to life in prison, but he died by suicide in 2015. Almost a decade on from Charlie’s murder, state Attorney General John Quigley has apologised to the family.


Horrified’: Wilcannia family searching for answers following young woman’s death

13/06/22 NITV News: The family of Lasonya Dutton is calling for a coronial inquest and a more thorough police investigation into the Barkindji woman’s death. The body of the 31-year-old was found in a badly decomposed state in her Wilcannia home in March. Ms Dutton’s family said the mother of two was a fun, happy-go-lucky woman, but three months after her death they’re still waiting for answers. Ms Dutton’s father Keith says he’s appalled by the way his family has been treated by Wilcannia police.


After 15 years of racism—chance to tear out the NT Intervention by the roots

26/05/22 Solidarity.net.au: This June marks 15 years since the Howard government began the NT Intervention, mobilising the army and introducing a wide swathe of racist, draconian controls over Aboriginal people and their lands.

Howard had long waged a war on self-determination and the gains of the Aboriginal rights movement made in the 1970s and 80s. The Intervention was the culmination of this, blaming Aboriginal culture for the social problems experienced in poverty-stricken communities and suspending the Racial Discrimination Act to re-establish Protection-era controls.


NSW Inquiry finds coroner’s court could prevent deaths in custody

05/05/22 SBS NITV:The New South Wales Coroner’s Court could help put a stop to Aboriginal deaths in custody by committing to systemic change, according to a state inquiry. The NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into Coronial Jurisdiction found that the current Coroner’s Court system is overloaded and underfunded, and delivered 35 recommendations for improvement.


Damning Banksia Hill report ‘vindicates’ push for class action

29/04/22 National Indigenous Times: The latest report on conditions in Banksia Hill Detention Centre is a validation of the class action being built against the State of Western Australia, advocates say.


Solitary confinement ban urged in wake of damning WA youth jail report

22/04/22 National Indigenous Times: The shocking findings out of WA’s Banksia Hill youth detention facility brought before parliament on Tuesday have sparked renewed calls to end solitary confinement in Australia.


Demands to raise age after revelations NSW govt still locking up 11-year-olds

18/03/22 NITV: As the state government ruminates on raising the age of criminal responsibility to 12-years, children as young as 11 are being incarcerated, with over 50 per cent being Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.


June Oscar backs call to stop cops carrying guns in communities

16/03/22 National Indigenous Times: It comes after Northern Territory policeman Zachary Rolfe was found not guilty of murder, manslaughter and a violent act causing death after shooting 19-year-old Kumanjayi Walker three times in Yuendumu in 2019.


The sadness of Kumanjayi Walker’s family is a familiar sorrow for Aboriginal people

12/03/22 SBS NITV: The Supreme Court of the Northern Territory is a vast, cavernous structure held up by enormous white pillars on the curved edge of Australia’s northern capital. It sits adjacent to the Northern Territory Parliament, another giant building, which overlooks the turquoise waters of Darwin Harbour, on Larrakia country.


Goldfields Aboriginal women prisoners record Midnight Oil hit in language

08/02/22 ABC: The project was part of the Western Australian Department of Justice’s education program that was designed by staff and prisoners for Ngaanyatjarra speakers to translate English songs and also tell stories of their country as part of an album called Minymaku Kurturtukatja or Heart of a Woman.


Finding the Moree way

18/01/22 The Inside Story Summer reading: It’s still very much a town of the squattocracy,” says Lyall Munro, a local Kamilaroi leader. In this northwest NSW town his people have embarked on Australia’s latest bid to overcome that imbalance through a process known as justice reinvestment. 


Indigenous 11-year-old released from Don Dale detention centre as lawyer slams incarceration of children

21/12/21 The Guardian Australia: Lawyer calls for ‘lawful, peaceful civil disobedience’ in response to ‘disgraceful’ locking up of children around the country


Justice advocates note lack of progress on OPCAT as anniversary lingers

17/12/21 National Indigenous Times: There have been at least 500 Aboriginal deaths in custody since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody 30 years ago and healthcare has been a factor in many of them,” she said.Vic Aboriginal Legal Service claims that inappropriate treatment and denial of healthcare requests have led to Indigenous deaths in custody.


Inquest into Victorian death in custody of Aboriginal woman begins

17/12/21 National Indigenous Times: The Directions hearing into the death in custody of a Yamatji, Noongar, Wongi and Pitjantjatjara woman begins in Naarm today.


‘Cautious optimism’ over NSW pilot program to reduce Indigenous jail rates

22/11/21 SBS: A pilot program announced in NSW is aiming to reduce the stark over-representation of Indigenous people in Australia’s criminal justice system.


Incarceration Nation: how our judicial system punishes the Indigenous

29/08/21 The Age: Indigenous deaths in custody since the 1991 Royal Commission: 478. Percentage of Indigenous prisoners: 27. Percentage of juvenile prisoners aged 10-13: 65. We know the numbers. We’ve seen the shocking CCTV footage from inside cells on Four Corners. We talk about raising the age of criminal responsibility. We take to the streets motivated by the police killing of an African-American man halfway across the world. We shake our heads, and still, systemic racism churns on, destroying the lives of First Nations people.


The Project host Tony Armstrong slams ‘racist’ Australia

29/08/21 news.com.au: After airing a segment about the high incarceration rates of Indigenous Australians, Tony Armstrong slams the nation for still being ‘racist’.


A National Disgrace: Most First Nations kids won’t witness equality on incarceration in their lifetime

05/08/21 ABC: It may surprise some Australians that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander boys born in the Northern Territory and Western Australia have a shorter life expectancy than boys born in Iraq, Libya and the West Bank and Gaza. Born into a nation racked by decades of war, Iraqi boys can expect to live to 68 while in resource-rich, First-World Western Australia, the average Indigenous boy won’t live to see 67.