Newsletter date: 17 December 2013
* Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) open letter: Tenth anniversary of TJ Hickey death
* Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: French Government presents human rights laureate to the Indigenous Social Justice Association
* YouTube: French government recognises Indigenous human rights - NITV SBS
* Deaths In Custody Watch Commitee WA: Build Communities Not Prisons Campaign
* Aboriginal Legal Service of WA: ALSWA hopes report will lead to Aboriginal people being In Safe Custody
* Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: ALSWA says hurry up & implement recommendations
* The Wire: Youth incarceration rates drop but indigenous kids left in the lock-up [Featuring Tim Beard & John Mackenzi]
* Greens Senators Rachel Siewert & Penny Wright: WA's Aboriginal youth detention rate requires urgent action
* Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: Aboriginal youth behind bars - gap widens
* Simon Lauder, ABC News: Young Indigenous Australians remain over-represented in detention: report
* Natalie Ahmat, NITV News: Indigenous youths overrepresented in detention centres: report
* Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: Prison diversion programs not meeting needs of Indigenous offenders
* Michael Coggan, ABC News: Specialist doctor quits NT alcohol rehabilitation program in protest
* Background to Justice Reinvestment, Aboriginal imprisonment and Aboriginal Deaths in Custody
* INDIGENOUS SOCIAL JUSTICE ASSOCIATION (ISJA) OPEN LETTER: TENTH ANNIVERSARY OF TJ HICKEY DEATH
- Open Letter
Tenth anniversary of TJ Hickey death
Green Left: https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/55504
30 Nov 13: "The Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) released this open letter on November 22 ***
Next year, on February 14, will be the 10th anniversary of the killing of the young Aboriginal man, TJ Hickey, as a consequence of the pursuit by the then Redfern police. For nine long years, the Hickey family has been campaigning for justice and for the proper legal punishment of those directly responsible for TJ’s death. We would like to invite you and your organisation to assist both the Hickey family and ISJA to make this 10th anniversary rally and march the biggest to date. ... We strongly urge you to be a positive part of this upcoming anniversary."
* GERRY GEORGATOS, THE STRINGER: FRENCH GOVERNMENT PRESENTS HUMAN RIGHTS LAUREATE TO THE INDIGENOUS SOCIAL JUSTICE ASSOCIATION
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: French Government presents human rights laureate to the Indigenous Social Justice Association
1 Dec 13: "Social justice advocate and stalwart Ray Jackson, a former child of the Stolen Generations, and the organisation he leads, the Indigenous Social Justice Association Sydney, have rarely been recognised for their decades of service to Aboriginal and/Torres Strait Islander rights, and to human rights in general, but at long last, long overdue, they have been recognised for their human rights works - by the French Government. "It is with a great sense of shock and awe that the years of struggle by the Indigenous Social Justice Association - since 1997 - has been recognised for its ongoing human rights work," said Mr Jackson." By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
* YOUTUBE: FRENCH GOVERNMENT RECOGNISIS INDIGENOUS HUMAN RIGHTS - NITV SBS
- Audio Interview
YouTube: French government recognises Indigenous human rights - NITV SBS - Bruce Skewes
Natalie Ahmat; Source NITV News 3 December 2013
3 Dec 13: "Stalwart Koori social Justice Advocate, Ray Jackson and his organisation the Indigenous Social Justice Association, have been honoured with a major French human rights award. While Mr Jackson fought for issues such as the rights of the marginalised and asylum seekers, he has also defended families of Aboriginal citizens deceased while in detention. "Since 1987 I've been working with death and custody families for justice, and taking the police on, and taking the jails," said Mr Jackson. He says he's amazed to receive such an honorary award, especially from the French government."
* DEATHS IN CUSTODY WATCH COMMITTEE WA: BUILD COMMUNITIES NOT PRISONS CAMPAIGN
Deaths In Custody Watch Commitee WA: Build Communities Not Prisons Campaign
"Indigenous imprisonment rates in Western Australia is the highest in the developed world. Rates of Indigenous youth incarceration are a national shame and at crisis point. In Western Australia we lock up more Aboriginal People than any other State or Territory per capita. Western Australia’s Indigenous incarceration rate remains the highest in the country, where an Indigenous person is 23 times more likely to be imprisoned than a non-Indigenous person. What is Justice Reinvestment? ... "
* ABORIGINAL LEGAL SERVICE OF WA: ALSWA HOPES REPORT WILL LEAD TO ABORIGINAL PEOPLE BEING IN SAFE CUSTODY
- Media Statement
Aboriginal Legal Service of WA: ALSWA hopes report will lead to Aboriginal people being In Safe Custody
2 Dec 13: "An Inquiry into custodial arrangements in police lock-up has validated concerns held by the Aboriginal Legal Service of WA (ALSWA) for many years.
"We endorse the findings and recommendations of the "In Safe Custody" report and hope that these recommendations, along with those from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) will be implemented once and for all. It’s unacceptable 30 years on from the tragic Roebourne death of young John Pat, that questions are still being raised as to one’s safety in a WA lock-up" said ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington.
ALSWA’s submission to the Community Development and Justice Standing Committee was cited heavily in the report and the state’s peak Aboriginal legal service provider hopes this report is finally the document that signals change in addressing the urgency of this situation. ... "
* GERRY GEORGATOS, THE STRINGER: ALSWA SAYS HURRY UP & IMPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: ALSWA says hurry up & implement recommendations
3 Dec 13: "The Aboriginal Legal Services Western Australia (ALSWA) has endorsed a recent report by a parliamentary inquiry committee into police services and custodial situations. ALSWA CEO Dennis Eggington however said that endorsement is one thing and implementation of the recommendations another matter. If the recommendations are not followed through then the report is more waste. Earlier this year, ALSWA presented its own findings to the Community and Justice Standing committee. ALSWA’s legal services director, Peter Collins criticised not only the police, ... but also slammed Government legislation ... " By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
* THE WIRE: YOUTH INCARCERATION RATES DROP BUT INDIGENOUS KIDS LEFT IN THE LOCK-UP [FEATURING TIM BEARD & JOHN MACKENZI]
- Audio Interview
The Wire: Youth incarceration rates drop but indigenous kids left in the lock-up
Produced by Eliza Goetze
10 Dec 13: "One in two Australians in juvenile detention are Indigenous, which means Indigenous youths are 31 times more likely to be locked up than their non-Indigenous counterparts. It's a gap that's widening, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. While overall rates of youth incarceration have gone down, indigenous children are still being detained at the same rate they were four years ago. According to an Aboriginal legal service expert, more children’s court magistrates and diversionary programs are badly needed in remote and regional communities in order to close the gap. ...
Featured in story:
* Tim Beard, leader of the Child Welfare and Prisoner Health Unit, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare
* John Mackenzi, Chief Legal Officer, Aboriginal Legal Service of NSW/ACT"
* GREENS SENATORS RACHEL SIEWERT & PENNY WRIGHT: WA'S ABORIGINAL YOUTH DETENTION RATE REQUIRES URGENT ACTION
- Media Release
Greens Senators Rachel Siewert & Penny Wright: WA's Aboriginal youth detention rate requires urgent action
Rachel Siewert: http://rachel-siewert.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/wa%E2%80%9...
Penny Wright: http://penny-wright.greensmps.org.au/content/media-releases/wa%E2%80%99s...
10 Dec 13: "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues / Attorney General
The Australian Greens said today that the alarmingly high rate of Aboriginal youth detention is a disgrace, and called on the WA Government to urgently invest in in Justice Reinvestment.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's ‘Youth detention population in Australia 2013' report has found that in the June quarter of 2013, the ratio of Aboriginal to non-Aboriginal youth aged 10-17 in detention in WA was 60 to 1, compared to the national ratio of around 31 to 1.
"This ratio is a sharp reminder that current policies are failing to help young Aboriginal people around Australia and particularly in WA," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues said today. ...
"We need Federal leadership for a new approach across the country to fix what is clearly a very broken system," said Australian Greens spokesperson on legal affairs, Senator Penny Wright.
"Shocking figures like these are why the Greens have been lobbying hard for a new Justice Reinvestment approach to crime which emphasises the need to strengthen communities and invest resources to prevent crime in the first place.""
* GERRY GEORGATOS, THE STRINGER: ABORIGINAL YOUTH BEHIND BARS - GAP WIDENS
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: Aboriginal youth behind bars - gap widens
12 Dec 13: "The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s (AIHW) annual report showed that the number of young Australians in detention (another word for jail) has decreased over the last several years. But this decrease does not apply to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander youth. Their rate of detention (a gentler term applied to incarcerated youth) have increased markedly and their total numbers in detention have increased marginally. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander youth are now 31 times more likely to be in detention than non-Indigenous children. ... " By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
* SIMON LAUDER, ABC NEWS: YOUNG INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS REMAIN OVER-REPRESENTED IN DETENTION: REPORT
ABC News: Young Indigenous Australians remain over-represented in detention: report
AM By Simon Lauder
10 Dec 13: "A new report shows Indigenous young people continue to be seriously over-represented within the juvenile detention system, despite a fall in the overall rates of youth sentenced. ... The institute's Tim Beard says one in every two young people in detention is Indigenous. "As per previous years the rates of Indigenous young people are very high compared to their relative proportion in the population," Mr Beard said. "Indigenous young people are about 31 times more likely than their non-Indigenous counterparts to end up in detention, ... "" By Simon Lauder, an ABC reporter based in Sydney, regularly contributing for AM
* NATALIE AHMAT, NITV NEWS: INDIGENOUS YOUTHS OVERREPRESENTED IN DETENTION CENTRES: REPORT
NITV News: Indigenous youths overrepresented in detention centres: report
By Natalie Ahmat; Source NITV News
10 Dec 13: "A new report has revealed that Aboriginal youth are overrepresented in detention centres. ... But Mr Beard says there has also been an increase in the ratio of Indigenous youth entering detention. "Indigenous numbers and Indigenous rates remain stable over the four year period where as non-Indigenous young people have been coming into detention at a much lower rate," said Mr Beard. The rate of Indigenous juveniles in detention remains a growing problem, with one in every two young person in detention identifying as Indigenous." By Natalie Ahmat
* GERRY GEORGATOS, THE STRINGER: PRISON DIVERSION PROGRAMS NOT MEETING NEEDS OF INDIGENOUS OFFENDERS
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: Prison diversion programs not meeting needs of Indigenous offenders
7 Dec 13: "Any program is only as good as its design and engagement principles, and it has been my experience as a researcher in custodial systems and in the veils and layers of various racism that most prison diversionary programs are ineffective – because they are piecemeal and short-term and therefore short-sighted. In terms of Australia’s vast and increasingly expensive penal estate – Australia’s bent for one prison after another, and its subsequent drive for the privatisation of a significant portion of the penal estate pre-release prison programs are not everything that they should be while post-release programs are almost non-existent." By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
* MICHAEL COGGAN, ABC NEWS: SPECIALIST DOCTOR QUITS NT ALCOHOL REHABILITATION PROGRAM IN PROTEST
ABC News: Specialist doctor quits NT alcohol rehabilitation program in protest
Lateline By Michael Coggan
6 Dec 13: "A doctor who played a key role in establishing the Northern Territory Government's new mandatory alcohol rehabilitation program has quit in protest at the way the program has been run, as well as the treatment of Aboriginal drinkers. Addictive medicine specialist Lee Nixon says he hopes his decision to speak out will prompt the Government to rethink its reluctance to stem the flow of alcohol in the Territory. ... He agreed to help set up the mandatory rehab program to make sure it was done properly, but now he is packing his bags in protest and heading home to New Zealand." By Michael Coggan
Michael Coggan - ABC News
"Michael Coggan has been reporting on Northern Territory issues since 1996, and has been the Darwin correspondent for Radio Current Affairs."
Background to the NT Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Bill, Northern Territory Government, Australia
(Last updated: 30 November 2013)
* BACKGROUND TO JUSTICE REINVESTMENT, ABORIGINAL IMPRISONMENT AND ABORIGINAL DEATHS IN CUSTODY:
Last updated: 30 November 2013
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