Published on 17 July 2017.

The Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) today released a Discussion Paper, Incarceration Rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples (DP 84), and is calling for comments and feedback on its questions and  law reform proposals.

The Terms of Reference for this Inquiry ask the ALRC to consider laws and legal frameworks that contribute to the incarceration rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and inform decisions to hold or keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody. The ALRC was asked to consider a number of factors that decision makers take into account when deciding on a criminal justice response, including community safety, the availability of alternatives to incarceration, the degree of discretion available, and incarceration as a deterrent and as a punishment.  The Terms of Reference also direct the ALRC to consider laws that may contribute to the rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples offending and the rate of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

Consultation sits at the heart of ALRC processes.  The ALRC has conducted more than 100 consultations to date for this Inquiry which have informed the development of the questions and proposals. Following the release of the Discussion Paper, the ALRC will begin a second round of stakeholder consultations.

The ALRC invites submissions in response to the proposals, questions and analysis in the Discussion Paper, which is available on the ALRC website at alrc.gov.au/publications/indigenous-incarceration-rates-dp84.

Submissions are due to the ALRC by 4 September 2017.

The ALRC is required to present its Report on the incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to the Attorney-General by 22 December 2017. 

To keep in touch with the Inquiry, please subscribe to the Inquiry e-news at alrc.gov.au/inquiries/indigenous-incarceration/subscribe