Legal Aid Cuts Deep
29th November, 2013By Michelle Lovegrove
Statistics show Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration rates are on the rise and the government legal aid budget cuts are not helping.
The number of Aboriginal people being sent to jail continues to rise leaving many questions about the effectiveness of government plans to tackle First Nations incarceration.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics Corrective Services report shows the number of Aboriginal men in prison has risen by eight per cent and women by 12 per cent in the 12 months.
This also coincides with a Coalition pre-selection announcement of major cuts to Aboriginal legal services, and legal aid generally.
The Australian Greens says it is clear current justice approaches are not working, and funding cuts will leave increasing numbers of people without any access to legal support.
Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs Penny Wright asks how long the situation will escalate before a different approach is implemented.