In a previous article we have reported on the establishment of an inquiry into indigenous incarceration by the Australian Law Reform Commission (the ALRC) at the request of the Australian Government; see our article, Indigenous Incarceration: A New Generation but the Same Inquiry. In a joint Media Release dated Friday, 22 December 2017, the Attorney-General, Christian Porter and the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Senator Nigel Scullion announced that the Australian Government had received the ALRC's final report on the incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The report is described in the Media Release as "the culmination of nearly a year’s intensive work on a complex and important issue." The report is the result of the ALRC's public consultation which was followed by the release of a discussion paper in July 2017. The Media Release indicates that the Australian Government "will now carefully consider the recommendations" and thanks the ALRC for its report.
The Government announced the ALRC inquiry in October 2016 to examine the factors leading to the disturbing over representation of Indigenous Australians in our prison system and to consider reforms to the law.
The "draft terms of reference" were released on 6 November 2016 and requested that the ALRC examine the laws, frameworks and institutions and broader contextual factors that lead to the disturbing over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in our prison system.
Submissions closed on 13 January 2017 and the draft terms of reference received 47 submissions and these were incorporated into new terms of reference.
Some of key aspects of the Terms of Reference asked the ALRC to consider:
The full detailed terms of reference can be found in our article: Indigenous Incarceration Inquiry: Terms of Reference Announced and Commissioner Appointed.
According to the Media Release the final report will be tabled in the Federal Parliament in 2018 and then released publicly after the government has responded to the report.
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