A Contemporary Snapshot of Two Issues Upon Which the RCIADIC Report Commented: Youth Justice and the Over-Incarceration of Aboriginal Young People, and Alcohol-Related Offences and Offending

A Contemporary Snapshot of Two Issues Upon Which the RCIADIC Report Commented: Youth Justice and the Over-Incarceration of Aboriginal Young People, and Alcohol-Related Offences and Offending Journal Article

Australian Indigenous Law Review

  • Author(s): Satya, Shanna, Barson, Ruth Bella
  • Published: 2011
  • Volume: 15

Abstract: The NT’s culture of mass imprisonment is evidenced in both the judicial propensity to overlook community based dispositions in favour of incarceration, and in the ‘lock ‘em up’ ethos underpinning mandatory sentencing and other punitive laws in the NT. Against this backdrop, it is unsurprising that incarceration statistics emerging from the NT are alarming. The NT has the highest incarceration rate in the country, and the third highest in the world. The NT imprisons approximately 748 adults for every 100,000. By comparison, Western Australia has the second highest incarceration rate: 262 people for every 100,000. The NT has seen a 41 per cent increase in incarceration rates over the last decade, the largest percentage increase in the country. Of the people incarcerated in the NT, over 81 per cent are Aboriginal, despite Aboriginal people representing only 32 per cent of the population. Reducing Aboriginal incarceration rates was the central theme of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (‘RCIADIC’) report. Incarceration rates in the NT have more than tripled in the 20 years since the tabling of the RCIADIC. This article provides a contemporary snapshot of two issues upon which the RCIADIC report commented: youth justice and the over incarceration of Aboriginal young people, and alcohol related offences and offending. Both issues have come under recent policy and legislative scrutiny in the NT. Twenty years on, consideration of the RCIADIC report provides a platform from which to analyse whether NT Government practices in these areas are effective in engaging with the ongoing issue of Aboriginal people being incarcerated at exponential and disproportionate rates.

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Suggested Citation
Satya, Shanna, Barson, Ruth Bella, 2011, A Contemporary Snapshot of Two Issues Upon Which the RCIADIC Report Commented: Youth Justice and the Over-Incarceration of Aboriginal Young People, and Alcohol-Related Offences and Offending, Volume:15, Journal Article, viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nintione.com.au/?p=3010.

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