Close the Gap - Justice Targets

A Shorten Labor Government will set justice targets to help Close the Gap on incarceration rates in Australia and increase community safety. 

THE HON. BILL SHORTEN MP

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG

 

THE HON. MARK DREYFUS QC, MP

SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL

MEMBER FOR ISAACS

 

THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGEING

MEMBER FOR BLAIR

 

THE HON WARREN SNOWDON MP

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA

SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR EXTERNAL TERRITORIES

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR LINGIARI

 

CLOSE THE GAP – JUSTICE TARGETS

 

A Shorten Labor Government will set justice targets to help Close the Gap on incarceration rates in Australia and increase community safety. 

Today, half of the young people in juvenile detention are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Two per cent of our population makes up more than a quarter of our prison population.

An Aboriginal man leaving school is more likely to go to jail than university.

And the re-imprisonment rate for Aboriginal young people is higher than the school retention rate.

This is unacceptable.

Labor is determined to do more than correct historical injustice - but strive to deliver justice.

The first meeting of COAG convened under a Shorten Labor Government will work on justice targets. 

We will work closely with State and local governments, through law enforcement agencies, corrections and community services

And just as importantly, we will be guided by the people who live the reality of the justice gap: community leaders, Elders and Aboriginal representative organisations. 

Crime and incarceration affects the safety of the whole community – and the solution belongs to the whole community.

Two years ago the town of Bourke in the west of New South Wales, topped the state for six of the eight crime categories.

The people of Bourke said ‘enough is enough’.

A Shorten Labor Government will provide the resources for a long-term study of justice reinvestment in Bourke, to see what Australia can learn.

And Labor will work with communities who are committed to this approach, and with the states and territories, to select three more launch sites: in a major city, a regional town and a remote community to roll out a local-power model for community safety.

Through COAG, we will work with other states to create a national coordinating body for collecting data and measuring progress.

Setting specific targets helps record our performance and it focuses national attention on closing the gap.

And it keeps all of us – politicians, public servants and service providers - accountable.

The appalling rate of incarceration among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, demands we create justice targets.

Targets that allow us to focus on community safety, preventing crime and reducing incarceration.

Because nowhere is the story of unfairness and diminished opportunity more clearly defined than in the justice gap between the first Australians and the rest of us.

For a copy of Labor’s positive plan to close the justice gap please visit: www.alp.org.au/closingthegapjusticetargets

THURSDAY, 19 NOVEMBER 2015