Publication Details

R. G. Hogg & J. Quilter Submission to ALRC, incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 2017 1-14 Australia Australian Law Reform Commission

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Australian Law Reform Commission


The case for reform to address the massively disproportionate incarceration rates of ATSI peoples can and should be made on the basis that it can bring about a more effective, as well as a fairer, system of criminal justice, one that engages with the legacy of historical injustice rather than perpetuating it. A realisable aim is to make communities safer as well as reducing reliance upon costly and damaging criminal justice policies and practices. ATSI people have the greatest investment in this as the principal victims of crime within their communities. With thoughtful, evidence-based reforms, there need be no necessary trade-off between the interests of offenders on the one hand and victims and the wider community on the other. As has been shown time and time again, punitiveness by way of high incarceration rates does not necessarily deliver greater community safety. On the contrary, it can form part of a vicious spiral that erodes the fabric of community and family in ways that increase crime and contact with the criminal justice system.