Indigenous youth are now 18 times more likely than their non-Indigenous counterparts to be under legal supervision.
Indigenous young people continue to be massively over-represented in the justice system including incarceration and community-based supervision.
It’s clear that if we build prisons for children in this country, the justice system will fill them up with young Aboriginal children
While Indigenous children make up only 5 percent of the population aged 10 to 17 in Australia, they represent 50 percent of young people within the justice system.
NSW Greens MP David Shoebridge said Australia had a criminal justice system that targeted Aboriginal people.
“It’s clear that if we build prisons for children in this country, the justice system will fill them up with young Aboriginal children,” Mr Shoebridge said.
Recently released, the Youth Justice in Australia 2016-17 report detailed the experience of Indigenous youth within the justice system.
The report, released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), showed that while there has been an overall decline in detention and community-based supervision since 2012, Indigenous over-representation continued to rise.
Indigenous youth were 15 times more likely to be under supervision in 2015 compared to 18 times more likely in 2017.
“The data and the daily experience of Aboriginal people proves that they are the ones that bear the brunt of broken bail laws and a systemically racist criminal justice system,” Mr Shoebridge said.
“…after 230 years of invasion, our parliaments have created a system of structural disadvantage, where Aboriginal people are the most incarcerated group of people in the world," he said.
“A fair and just criminal justice system protects the community… we need a radical overhaul of the systematically racist criminal justice system that targets the first nations people.”
According to the report, the number of all young people aged 10 to 17 within the justice system on an average day fell by 16 percent, contributing to a drop in the national supervision rate from 25 to 20 per 10,000 young people since 2012.
There is currently an average of 5,259 young people over the age of ten under youth justice supervision and detention in Australia.