COVID urgency and calls for release

COVID-19 Indigenous health Indigenous incarceration Australia

The COVID 19 Pandemic has seen a raft of laws passed across all Australian states aimed at reducing the serious risk the virus poses, and while these new laws limit personal freedoms to protect health and safety, they also increase risk to Aboriginal people already face discrimination and racial profiling by the justice sector.

Prison is the most unsafe place that Aboriginal people can be in a pandemic as there is no ability for prisoners to self isolate and protect themselves. Many Aboriginal prisoners also have chronic health conditions placing them at high risk of serious outcomes, including death, in the event of COVID.
This is leading to calls for immediate early release, particularly of people who are on remand, women who are victims of family violence and sentenced for lesser offences like fines and public order offences, young people and those most at risk of transmitting Covid-19, like elderly and people with health conditions.

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