3.1        The Terms of Reference direct the ALRC to consider sentencing in examining the rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration. Sentencing decisions are crucial in determining whether a person goes to prison and for how long.

3.2        This chapter considers the relevance and impact of systemic and background factors that are unique to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and explores how such factors are currently dealt with in Australian jurisdictions. It also examines the Canadian context, which was referred to by many stakeholders, as one that might offer some alternative approaches suitable to Australian circumstances.