Lawyers call for action on indigenous incarceration

LAWYERS want every head of state to act on Australia's "disastrous rate" of indigenous imprisonment.

Aboriginal people represent just 2.5% of the country's population, but account for 27% of people behind bars across the country.

And 50% of children and young people in juvenile detention are indigenous.

The Law Council of Australia says the rest of the country can learn from recent changes in the Northern Territory and Western Australia that are expected to improve Aboriginal incarceration rates.

Last week the NT Government pledged to halve the rate of Aboriginal imprisonment by 2030 and WA said it would address self-harm and suicides in custody.

The ACT is also working on lowering the number of Aboriginal prisoners.

Law Council president Stuart Clark urged the country's other premiers to tackle the issue at the next COAG meeting.

"Australia's indigenous incarceration rates represent a national crisis," Mr Clark said.

- APN NEWSDESK


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