Victoria’s justice system is failing, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over-represented in the prison system.
Today’s State of Incarceration report shows that since 2012, Victoria’s incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has recorded a 91 per cent increase, higher than Western Australia, New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
It is almost double the national average, almost double New South Wales or South Australia, and around four times higher than Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
This is compared to Victoria’s non-Indigenous incarceration rate rising by 24 per cent over that same period.
Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Peter Walsh, said these statistics show the failings of Victoria’s justice system.
“Victoria’s current approach isn’t working and it’s failing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities who are disproportionately represented in these statistics,” Mr Walsh said.
“Through the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, Victoria agreed to a target of reducing the rate of First Peoples in incarceration by at least 15 per cent before 2031.
“The Andrews Labor Government is failing to meet this target and the gap with our state’s non-Indigenous population is only widening.”
While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up just 1 per cent of Victoria’s population, they comprise 12 per cent of the state’s adult prison population.
“The Liberals and Nationals are committed to working with Indigenous Victorians on closing the gap and addressing the persistent disadvantage among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people,” Mr Walsh said.