The Government will ask the Australian Law Reform Commission to conduct an inquiry into the over representation of Indigenous Australians in prison. Attorney-General George Brandis and Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion, called this over-representation a “national tragedy” when they made the announcement last week.
Given that many of the 339 recommendations made by the the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991 were not implemented, this new inquiry has come under fire by some Indigenous community groups and politicians.
More than one in four Australian prisoners are Indigenous, despite making up only two per cent of the overall Australian population. Indigenous young people are also 24 times more likely to be behind bars than their peers.