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Date posted: 21 June 2011
Over representation of young Indigenous people in the criminal justice system needs to be urgently addressed. Indigenous youth are 28 times more likely to be detained than non-Indigenous youth and Indigenous adults are about 15 times more likely than non-Indigenous adults.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda has welcomed the release of a report which highlights over-representation of young Indigenous people in the criminal justice system as one of the most neglected but urgent issues to be addressed in efforts to overcome Indigenous disadvantage.
Commissioner Gooda said the Doing time-time for doing report released today, looked holistically at the range of issues impacting on over-representation, including health, education, employment and substance abuse.
'We must act now before we lose another generation to the criminal justice system,' Mr Gooda said.
The report also says the government should set up a commission to examine how to increase Indigenous representation in parliament, through quotas or specially dedicated seats, to give youth a voice.