Signing the Aboriginal Justice Agreement in Alice Springs
There was a strong community turn out at the launch of the NT Aboriginal Justice Agreement in Alice Springs last month with members of community organisations, not-for-profit groups, the judiciary, and correctional services, all attending to hear the message of change for the Northern Territory justice system.
In her speech, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Selena Uibo emphasied the impact of racism in the Northern Territory and how the Agreement will deal with this problem.
‘Today we acknowledge that racism still exists in the Territory — which erodes unity, our sense of belonging, and can tear communities apart’, Minister Uibo said.
‘We will also be identifying and tackling systemic racism in government agencies and contracted service providers who are part of our justice approach.
‘Really, when simplified, it all comes down to more appropriate services, stronger leadership, and better systems’.
The Agreement’s 13 strategies will benefit whole communities in Central Australia through improving justice services, leadership and systems.
The three key aims are to:
- Reduce reoffending and imprisonment rates of Aboriginal Territorians to reduce crime.
- Engage and support Aboriginal leadership.
- Improve justice responses and services for Aboriginal Territorians.
Actions from the Agreement are strongly focused on community-level initiatives including supporting and establishing local law and justice groups, re-introducing community courts, continuing alternatives to custody and redesigning and expanding access to programs that address the root causes of offending.
Minister Uibo said the Life Skills Camp alternative to custody in Alice Springs was one of the AJA projects that was already helping women to not reoffend.
‘The Life Skills Camp is helping Aboriginal women right now. They are learning more about themselves, their minds, their bodies. They are learning skills to help them when they are back in their communities.
‘They are learning what it means to be accountable for their own behaviour and their children’s behaviour.
‘They are finding purpose and hope. They are becoming strong roles models for their children.’
The NT Government has committed $4.52 million for the first year of the Agreement’s operations.
Last updated: 03 November 2021
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