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Date posted: 22 August 2014
At recent criminology conference held at the New South Wales (NSW) Parliament, Eileen Baldry, Professor of Criminology at the University of NSW, highlighted that, while Indigenous women make up 2% of the Australian female population, they make up one third of the female prison population.
Furthermore, Professor Baldry highlighted that as much as 95% of the doubling of the rate of incarceration in Australia in the past decade is accounted for by Indigenous women, particularly in Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Professor Baldry said that a change in approach would improve the situation and recommended allowing magistrates greater flexibility in their sentencing guidelines. She also suggested that the provision of medical support, counselling and, in some cases, accommodation would be a less costly and more effective option than jail.
Source: The Age