Australian Senate motion is an insult - people will continue to die in custody and be incarcerated at unbelievable rates

The Human Rights Alliance: Deaths in Custody: Australia's horrific record - The Australian Senate lets us down. Motion is an insult.

The Australian Senate approved the Greens Motion to acknowledge the rising Aboriginal incarceration rates and deaths in custody in lieu of Friday 15, April which marks twenty years since the release of the 339 recommendations and Final Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.

This meek and grandstanding Motion is an insult, a slap in the face to all those campaigners and organisations which have highlighted the rising deaths in custody crude totals and the rising incarceration rates. The Motion is a disregard for those living in inter-generational poverty, in induced abject poverty and in the effects of racism and other discrimination, for all those incarcerated and doing it tough in ways that most Australians could not comprehend.

For the Greens and the Senate to describe that they shall wait for a NSW Aboriginal Legal Services progress report into some of the recommendations is attrition, it is poor form and they should be ashamed that they are prepared to sit by as more die in custody, as more suffer acute and chronic clinical disorders, mental despair, self harm, maltreatment, trauma and multiple trauma, suicide and multiple suicide attempts, death.

The prison population of Australia has more than doubled from 1991 to 2011 however Australia's population has certainly not doubled. The brunt of the increased prison population has been borne by our Aboriginal population. They are incarcerated at 14 times non-Aboriginal rates. Australia's Aboriginal folk are the most incarcerated peoples in the world. This is racism, it is discrimination, it is apartheid, it is utter and sheer neglect. The Australian Senate is in disgrace.

63% of Australia's deaths in custody during the last 30 years have occurred in prison custody and Australian deaths in custody rates in prisons have been at twice the rate, in terms of proportion to prison populations, to England and Wales. We have a deaths in custody record worse than most countries.

Australia's inter generational biases, prejudices, discrimination and racism must be unveiled and eliminated so inter generational poverty, disadvantage and its final culminations in homelessness, incarceration and deaths in custody are significantly reduced if not eliminated.
Gerry Georgatos, PhD Law researcher - Australian Deaths in Custody, Convener - The Human Rights Alliance.

For your reference:

Senate backs Greens Motion on Deaths in Custody

The Senate today formally acknowledged that this year marks twenty
years since of the release of the Report of the Royal Commission into
Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, supporting a motion put by Senator
Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Issues.

Senator Siewert said the Senate has drawn attention to the continuing
high rate of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
people a rate that continues to rise in an alarming fashion.

Twenty years after the Royal Commission we are still seeing
disproportionately high rates of deaths in custody of Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander people, Senator Siewert said.

It is disappointing that the majority of the recommendations of the
Royal Commission have not been fully implemented.

We look forward to the release of the report into the progress in
implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission by the
NSW Aboriginal Legal Service later in the year, and will continue to
work to see the recommendations put into practice.

Implementing these measures is an essential part of meeting
international human rights obligations, concluded Senator Siewert.

"The spectacle of racism has permitted horrific incarceration rates in Australia, a horrific deaths in custody record and as if to demonstrate the premises that underwrite these we now have the phemonena of Immigration Deaths in Custody, we have Australian Detention Centre Deaths and they will exponentially rise during the next year." Gerry.

Gerry Georgatos, Convener of The Human Rights Alliance, Phd (Law) researcher in Australian Deaths in Custody.

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