• A Black Lives Matter rally in Perth, 12 June 2020. Protesters have called for an end to the over-incarceration of Indigenous Australians. (AAP)Source: AAP
The minister will meet with the Attorney-General and the minister for Home Affairs to discuss incarceration rates of Indigenous youth, ahead of the 30th anniversary of the RCIADIC on Thursday.
Dan Butler

12 Apr 2021 - 12:08 PM  UPDATED 12 Apr 2021 - 12:08 PM

The federal Minister for Indigenous Australians has said police views of young Aboriginal people is a factor in their over-incarceration, as the WA Police Commissioner admits thereare too many Indigenous kids in jail.

"There is a perception... among some new police officers that Aboriginal kids are problematic, and I've seen it in Perth," Mr Wyatt told The Weekend Australian.

Chris Dawson, commissioner of the police force that ultimately gave rise to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, says not enough is being done to keep Indigenous youth out of the prison system.

"...until we can have an impact on over-representation, then you will always have people lose their lives either in prisons, or custody, or in the presence of police," said Mr Dawson.

Mr Wyatt said attention should be focused on combatting recidivism and that keeping young people from ever entering the carceral system was the best place to start.

“We have got to look at the combination of dealing with crime but also looking at the possibility of diversion programs,” Mr Wyatt said.

The minister will raise the issue this week with Attorney-General Michaelia Cash and Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews, and discuss government strategies for reducing the high rate of young Indigenous people in the prison system.

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