NACCHO Aboriginal Health #1967referendum #JustJustice : Indigenous prison overrepresentation costs Australia $7.9bn a year,

 

 ” Closing the gap on Indigenous incarceration could save almost $19bn in 2040

Indigenous incarceration is costing nearly $8 billion annually and will grow to almost ; $20 billion per annum by 2040 without further intervention, according to a PwC Australia and PwC’s Indigenous Consulting (PIC) report released today.

The report also highlights the social costs of incarceration and points to the economic and social benefits of Indigenous-led, evidence-based approaches in addressing the issue.

In 2016 justice system costs related to Indigenous incarceration were $3.9 billion, and are forecast to grow to $10.3 billion annually by 2040. Welfare costs associated with the issue will rise to $110 million by 2040, while economic costs will reach over $9 billion annually.”

Download the full report here : Indigenous incarceration

” As a young boy, I listened to the talk around our dinner table, sensing the big change in the air. On TV, influential people had publicly championed the Yes vote. It was 50 years ago, when Australians came together and stood up for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the 1967 referendum.

The vote enabled the Federal Government to legislate for and take greater responsibility for protecting the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It also gave it the authority to count us in the census.

Fifty years later, we’ve been continuously let down. In so many ways, today the injustice gap is widening — and our kids are feeling it the most.

From Darwin to Sydney and Perth to Townsville, today too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids are being detained, rather than getting the support they need.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities know that our kids shouldn’t be behind bars; they should be with their families and communities.

We know how to keep kids strong, healthy and give them real opportunities for a brighter future.”

Rodney Dillon Palawa Elder. Indigenous Rights Advisor for Amnesty International Australia  see full story part 2 below

  Read previous NACCHO #JustJustice                            

NT Royal Commission Don Dale  articles

 ” The overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the justice system costs Australia $7.9bn a year and those costs are projected to increase to $19.8bn by 2040, according to economic modelling.

Reducing the rate of Indigenous imprisonment to be on par with non-Indigenous imprisonment would save $18.9bn by 2040, modelling produced by PriceWaterhouseCoopers showed, as well as reducing unquantified costs caused by policies that perpetuate the cycle of disadvantage.”

The modelling, released on Thursday, is part of a report produced by PwC Indigenous Consulting, in partnership with the Change the Record Coalition, the Richmond Football Institute and the Korin Gamadji Institute.

Download the Press Release : Closing the Gap Indigenous Incarceration

Report from  in the Guardian

Those unqualified costs included intergenerational trauma and continued high rates of child removal.

“The numbers are so huge that it amounts to a substantial budget repair measure,” PwC economics and policy partner James van Smeerdijk said.

The modelling, released on Thursday, is part of a report produced by PwC Indigenous Consulting, in partnership with the Change the Record Coalition, the Richmond Football Institute and the Korin Gamadji Institute.

It recommended national justice targets and greater investment in both diversionary and post-release programs as a way to reduce rates of imprisonment and deliver economic as well as social savings.

“The social impact of a reduction in imprisonment rates would be significant, changing lives and transforming communities,” the Change the Record coalition co-chair, Shane Duffy, said. “However this important collaborative report plays a key role in also highlighting the significant economic impact and potential savings for governments and in turn the taxpayer.”

In 2015-2016, Indigenous Australians made up 3% of the Australian population, 27% of the prison population and 51% of the juvenile detention population, a situation the report said was “unfair, unsafe and unaffordable”.

The Indigenous prison population has doubled in the 26 years since the royal commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody.

The cost of Indigenous incarceration in 2015-16 included $3.9bn spent on justice services, $62.5m spent on welfare such as out-of-home care for children whose parents were incarcerated, and $16.2m in foregone taxation, the report said.

It included a further $4.5m in broader costs such as the cost of crime, the loss of productive output and excess tax burden.

Projected future costs assumed Indigenous imprisonment would increase at a rate of 3%, assuming nothing was done to reduce current rates of overrepresentation, and an Indigenous population that was growing at 2.2% per annum. It did not contemplate the possibility of the rates of either new admission to prison or recidivism going up.

Van Smeerdijk said the conservative estimate made the figures even more persuasive. If there is not a systemic change in the justice system, the actual costs are likely to be much worse.

“I think if the average Australian actually realised some of these facts, realised how unfair, unsafe and unaffordable it was, that would be the start of changing peoples opinions,” he said.

Brendon Gale, chief executive of the Richmond Football Club, said the “unavoidable conclusion is that a different approach needs to be taken”.

“The good news is that, with combined action and effort, we can effect positive change in the domain of Indigenous incarceration,” he said.

Van Smeerdijk said he hoped the report would inform the findings of the Australian Law Reform Commission inquiry into Indigenous incarceration, which is due to release its preliminary report in June, and the final report of the Northern Territory royal commission into the protection and detention of children.

Article 2 : The Injustice Gap Is Widening, And Our Kids Are Feeling It Most

As a young boy, I listened to the talk around our dinner table, sensing the big change in the air. On TV, influential people had publicly championed the Yes vote. It was 50 years ago, when Australians came together and stood up for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the 1967 referendum.

The vote enabled the Federal Government to legislate for and take greater responsibility for protecting the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It also gave it the authority to count us in the census.

I remember Mum and my aunties cooking on our combustion stove, saying that this referendum would be the turning point for our people. They thought they would see structural change for the country.

I was only a primary school kid, and I often copped racism on the school bus. With my child’s understanding of the issue, I wondered: will all this change — will people will be nice to us now?

It is time for Prime Minister Turnbull to fulfil the legacy of the 90 percent of Australians who voted for the Federal Government to take responsibility for justice for Indigenous people, and to fix the damage caused by colonisation.

Until then, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had seen the Federal Government pass the buck to the States and Territories, the States and Territories pass it back to the Federal Government, but none of them ever thought it was important to protect our people’s rights.

When over 90 percent of Australians turned out to say there needs to be change, the Federal Government knew it had to listen. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people felt supported by the goodwill of the people, and we were full of hope.

We hoped there would no longer be a piecemeal approach to Indigenous issues. We hoped the protection of our people’s rights would no longer depend on what State or Territory someone happened to live in. We hoped the Federal Government would consistently protect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rights across the country.

Fifty years later, we’ve been continuously let down. In so many ways, today the injustice gap is widening — and our kids are feeling it the most.

From Darwin to Sydney and Perth to Townsville, today too many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids are being detained, rather than getting the support they need. In detention across the country, Governments are hooding and strapping Indigenous kids to chairs, teargassing them, locking them in the dark for 23 hours a day, and brutalising them.

It’s child abuse, and Indigenous kids are more likely to be affected across the country because our kids make up less than six percent of young people, but over half of kids in detention.

When my parents — and many of your parents — voted in the referendum, this was not the Australia they wanted. Our kids are enduring this today because successive Australian Governments have never taken on the real spirit of the referendum.

It is time for Prime Minister Turnbull to fulfil the legacy of the 90 percent of Australians who voted for the Federal Government to take responsibility for justice for Indigenous people, and to fix the damage caused by colonisation.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities know that our kids shouldn’t be behind bars; they should be with their families and communities. We know how to keep kids strong, healthy and give them real opportunities for a brighter future.

I’ve spoken with Indigenous leaders in communities from Palm Island to Albany, to Broome, to Darwin to Bourke. Everywhere, I’ve seen Indigenous-run prevention and diversion programs have great success and see less recidivism. Young people who go through these programs gain respect for their Elders, their communities and themselves.

Aboriginal people have the answers, we want to be part of the solution, and we are calling for the Federal Government to listen.

Prime Minister Turnbull needs to see that locking up Indigenous kids and abusing them in detention is a national problem that needs a national solution. He must commit to a National Action Plan on Youth Justice.

The time for this change is right now. The treatment handed out to Indigenous kids in Don Dale in the Northern Territory shocked our nation. But shock is not enough — now we have to act. The spotlight on youth justice from the Northern Territory Royal Commission and other inquiries around Australia provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure a national, long term, funded action plan.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations have been demanding this change for decades. Now we need non-Indigenous people to come along with us, as they did in 1967, to let the Federal Government know we won’t stand for its failure a minute longer.

Together, we can fulfil the legacy of 50 years ago and secure a better future for Indigenous kids.

Together, we can make history.

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