Justice Targets Breakthrough
Minister Macklin's announcement today of Labor's Closing the Gap policy statement includes a welcome breakthrough with justice targets being included in the Closing the Gap framework.
The Labor policy commits to developing a new Closing the Gap target aimed at tackling the high rates of engagement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system, particularly young people.
Acknowledging that education and employment can be drivers of high incarceration rates, the additional commitment to these areas is a welcome component to this framework.
Thank you to all ANTaR supporters who have been calling for the addition of Justice Targets for some time.
Great credit should go to the strong Aboriginal leadership that has been active in this area particularly The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, The National Congress of Australia's First Peoples and the Social Justice Commissioner who have been energetic in their lobbying of all sides of politics to achieve this result.
Given Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion's public comments on the issue we are hopeful that there will be bipartisan support for these targets.
We will await the release of the Coalition policy with interest and hope that justice targets will form part of that policy.
The Greens also recently announced a major founding commitment to Justice Reinvestment in their funding policy and this was also a major break through for the campaign.
Read the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services media statement here
Read the National Congress of Australia's First Peoples media statement here