Protestors chant and bend down on their knees. They hold handmade red, yellow and black signs saying 'stop don't shoot' and Black Lives Matter. Woman in front raises her fist and is wearing an Aboriginal flag tshirt.

Justice targets show lack of commitment to real reform

The release today of the Australian Government’s Close the Gap justice targets shows a disappointing lack of leadership in addressing the overrepresentation of Indigenous people in Australian prisons.

Amnesty International Australia Indigenous Rights Advisor, Rodney Dillon, said:

“These targets along with the failure to show leadership by committing to raise the age of criminal responsibility at Monday’s Council of Attorneys-General meeting contradicts the Government’s rhetoric on addressing the numbers of Indigenous people in Australian jails.

“Actions speak louder than words, and an important step in making real, systemic change by raising the age on Monday was wasted.

“Such a failure undermines the new Closing the Gap targets and all the work indigenous organisations have done to try and drag the Australian Government along.”

Key take-outs from the Closing the Gap report and why they fall short include:

  • Reducing rate of indigenous incarceration by 15% by 2031. That’s the same maths that led to the parity by 2093 target – even though the parity target is now omitted from the report.
  • Moving 30 percent of young Indigenous prisoners out of detention by 2031.