ALSWA submission to Commonwealth House of Representatives Standing Committee on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs – December 2009

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youths are disturbingly overrepresented in the juvenile justice system. This submission briefly discusses the historical context surrounding the disparities and intergenerational poverty experienced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in contemporary society. It also provides a snapshot of the current over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in the criminal justice system in WA and highlights how factors such as: over-policing and poor utilisation of diversionary schemes by police; an absence of crisis care accommodation, bail hostels and rehabilitation programs; limited access to legal advice; the absence of a state-wide Aboriginal interpreter service; and mandatory sentencing and other punitive laws, are major contributors to the high involvement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth in the juvenile justice system. The submission also identifies some best practice examples that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth diversion and rehabilitation.

High Juvenile Involvement in Criminal Justice System WA.pdf (1.58Mb)