Skip to content
Date posted: 9 December 2016
The #JustJustice book was launched in Sydney recently and politicians and policy makers were urged to 'read and absorb' its advice for stopping the over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The book compiles more than 90 articles from more than 70 contributors published over the past 18 months at Croakey, since more than 300 donors contributed to the crowdfunding campaign that concluded in mid-2015.
Professor Tom Calma AO, Chancellor of University of Canberra, told the launch attendees that everyone in the room had a responsibility to bring the issue of over-incarceration to the attention of their MPs. 'They need to understand this is not an issue that is someone else's problem,' he explained. Professor Calma also noted the importance of the book privileging the voice and expertise of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and organisations and taking a solutions focus.
Many of those attending the launch also signed a Call to Action, urging federal, state and territory governments to act, in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, to stop the over-incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, 'as a matter of urgency'.
The launch featured a panel discussion facilitated by #JustJustice team member Summer May Finlay, with Yvonne Weldon, a Wiradjuri woman from Cowra with ties to the Kalare/ Lachlan and Murrumbidgee Rivers in NSW, who is Chairperson of the Metropolitan Aboriginal Land Council located in Redfern. Also on the panel were Michael Doyle, an early career Aboriginal researcher in the alcohol and drug field with a particular interest in prisoner health, who is in the final year of his PhD at the Kirby Institute, UNSW, and Dr Megan Williams. Key messages to come out of the panel were: the importance of implementing programs which are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander led; highlighting new policy solutions such as justice reinvestment; the importance of new approaches to address underlying socio-economic disadvantage; and the vital need for better post-prison support to address high rates of recidivism.