Australia’s rates of Aboriginal imprisonment simply staggering

The numbers are so off the charts I almost wondered whether they’re typos.

A recent piece in the Sydney Morning Herald puts Australian rates of Aboriginal incarceration at incredible levels. According to Herald columnist Cynthia Banham:

  • Indigenous incarceration rates “are 19 times higher than for the rest of the population”
  • 1 in 5 Indigenous children “has a parent or [caregiver] in jail”
  • “a quarter [or 1 in 4] of all young indigenous men are being processed through the criminal justice system every year”

These simply staggering stats are embedded in a larger discussion of “rethinking [Australia’s] approach to criminal justice and sentencing.”

It’s quite remarkable how similar the debate is between the Australian and Canadian contexts, never mind how similar the impacts of ‘get tough on crime’ policies are on their respective Indigenous populations.

[ Image: Detail ofDeaths in custody(1990), © Trevor Nickolls ]

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