More Support For Regional Indigenous Communities

The Andrews Labor Government is working to reduce the number of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system, with an $180,000 boost to support the implementation of Regional Aboriginal Justice Plans.

Attorney-General Martin Pakula today announced the funding at the 41st meeting of the Aboriginal Justice Forum in Chirnside Park.

Developed by Victoria’s nine Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees (RAJACs), the Plans outline community-based responses to local justice issues for Indigenous people, aligned with the Aboriginal Justice Agreement (AJA).

The Plans promote participation in cross-agency and partnership forums – such as the Aboriginal Justice Forum – to address disadvantage faced by the Indigenous community and examine their interaction with the justice system at regional and statewide levels.

With RAJACs currently leveraging modest amounts of funding to support Aboriginal communities, this new funding will ensure regional Plans are fully implemented, further bolstering long-term crime prevention.

The AJA aims to reduce Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system through prevention, early intervention and diversion strategies.

It includes initiatives to improve educational outcomes, enhance employment opportunities, reduce youth offending, lower imprisonment rates and address family violence.

Launched in 2000, the AJA is the only remaining continuous justice agreement in Australia – and Victoria remains the only jurisdiction to have set a Closing the Gap justice target.

Quotes attributable to Attorney General, Martin Pakula

“Victoria’s rate of Indigenous over-representation in the justice system is growing faster than any other Australian jurisdiction – and that can’t continue.”

“Our Indigenous population is involved in the adult justice system, in prison or on Community Correction Orders at a rate 12 times that of non-Indigenous people.  Around 55 per cent of Indigenous offenders also return to prison within two years.”

“Addressing this inequality facing our Indigenous community is critical to ensuring we have a just and equal society – and importantly, a fair justice system.”