17.6 C
Byron Shire
April 23, 2024

Report and recommendations – First Nations people in custody

Latest News

Mullumbimby railway station burns down

At around midnight last night, a fire started which engulfed the old Mullumbimby railway station. It's been twenty years since the last train came through, but the building has been an important community hub, providing office space for a number of organisations, including COREM, Mullum Music Festival and Social Futures.

Other News

Third village for Alstonville Plateau?

A proposal to assess the viability of a third village on the Alstonville Plateau was discussed at Ballina Shire Council's last meeting.

WATER Northern Rivers says Rous County Council is wrong

WATER Northern Rivers Alliance says despite decades of objection, Rous County Council have just commissioned yet another heritage and biodiversity study in the Rocky Creek valley, between Dunoon and The Channon, in the heart of the Northern Rivers.

REDinc’s new Performing Arts Centre is go!

It’s been a long wait, but two years on from the 2022 flood REDinc in Lismore have announced the official opening of a new Performing Arts Centre.

Press release vs Save Wallum views

The Echo editor (page 1, 10 April) might need to consider the role of a journalist – particularly that...

Some spending cannot be questioned

The euphemisms were flying when Australia's Defence Minister Richard Marles announced last week that an extra $50 billion would be spent on our military over the next decade, and that $72.8 billion of already announced spending would be redirected.

New chef at Crystalbrook Byron

Joachim Borenius has been appointed as the new executive chef at Crystalbrook Byron resort’s signature restaurant, Forest. Joachim Borenius brings...

High, but not high enough, on the country’s human rights agenda is the issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody.

With last week’s protest marches again shining a light on Australia’s deplorable deaths in custody statistics, yesterday’s release of the Upper House Select Committee’s report and recommendations into the high level of First Nations people in custody, and the oversight and review of deaths in custody, will be of great interest to many Australians.

Committee Chair, Mr Adam Searle MLC said the tabling of this report yesterday marked 30 years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. ‘Sadly, we are no closer to addressing the over-representation of First Nations people in the criminal justice system.

Royal Commission recommendations not implemented

‘It is extremely disappointing that many of the recommendations made in the Royal Commission’s report have still not been implemented and that governments have even given up monitoring implementation of those recommendations,’ said Mr Searle.

‘On this crucial issue, NSW has lost its way. The question remains whether it has the will to find it again.’

Mr Searle said that while many witnesses and stakeholders in the inquiry process are rightly concerned that this report will be just one of many that will be left on the shelf to gather dust, the committee believes that this report and its recommendations provide the opportunity to bring about important changes for First Nations peoples, particularly in light of the momentum currently taking place with Black Lives Matter movements here and around the world.

Like the many reports before it, the committee’s report highlights the systemic and entrenched disadvantage being faced by First Nations communities, contributing to disproportionate rates of incarceration.

Diverting First Nations people away from the criminal justice system

While the committee makes important recommendations aimed at diverting First Nations adults and youth away from the criminal justice system, it also calls upon the NSW Government to address the underlying drivers leading to over-representation, including disadvantage in the areas of health, housing, employment and education.

The Select Committee makes 39 recommendations to address the over-representation of First Nations people in the criminal justice system and to enhance the oversight arrangements for the review of deaths in custody.

This includes specific legislative reforms in relation to bail and offensive language provisions, and the expansion of diversionary programs and specialist courts. Importantly, the report also calls for improved health screening and mental health services to be delivered in correctional centres, and a thorough review of the coronial system, given the significant delays being endured by families with inquests.

Committee’s key recommendations

‘One of the committee’s key recommendations is that the NSW Government expand the functions of the Law Enforcement Conduct Commission to undertake full investigations in relation to deaths in custody,’ said Mr Searle. ‘Although a number of options were put forward by stakeholders, the evidence was that this was the best way forward in the current circumstances and will instil greater confidence, independence and transparency in the process.

‘We hope that this recommendation, along with others we have made, provide a realistic roadmap for government to deliver better outcomes for First Nations people and for others in the criminal justice system.’

The committee’s report and other inquiry documents can be found on the committee’s website.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Flood insurance inquiry’s North Coast hearings 

A public hearing into insurers’ responses to the 2022 flood was held in Lismore last Thursday, with one local insurance brokerage business owner describing the compact that exists between insurers and society as ‘broken’. 

Getting ready for the 24/25 bush fire season

This year’s official NSW Bush Fire Danger Period closed on March 21. Essential Energy says its thoughts are now turned toward to the 2024-25 season, and it has begun surveying its powerlines in and around the North Coast region.

Keeping watch on Tyalgum Road

Residents keen to stay up to date on the status of the temporary track at Tyalgum Road – particularly during significant rain events – are urged to sign up to a new SMS alert system launched by Tweed Shire Council.

Blaming Queensland again

I was astounded to read Mandy Nolan’s article ‘Why The Nude Beach Is A Wicked Problem’, in which she implied that it may largely...