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The Council of Australian Governments met last week (13 April 2012), where the Prime Minister, Premiers, Chief Ministers and the President discussed issues including Closing the gap targets.
Indigenous justice groups had wanted to see a justice target set alongside other focus areas of the Closing the gap reform, which include health care and education. This separate target, focusing on reducing the high number of Indigenous Australians in jail, was expected to be discussed at the meeting, but failed to be mentioned.
Ray Jackson, president of the Indigenous Social Justice Association, says the issue of Indigenous incarceration needs more attention at a senior level. Greens Senator Penny Wright also expressed disappointment at the lack of a justice target.
Some justice advocates say that rather than taking a 'tough on crime' approach, evidence-based intervention and diversionary programs need to be embraced, along with an approach called justice reinvestment.
Source: The Wire Radio
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