Aboriginal Territorians are significantly over-represented as both offenders and victims in the justice system. The human impact and cost of this on families, communities and the Territory, cannot be overstated.
The Northern Territory Aboriginal Justice Agreement (the Agreement) outlines how the parties will work together to improve justice outcomes for Aboriginal Territorians. The Agreement has three aims and identifies the commitments and actions to be delivered over seven years. Pathways to the Northern Territory Aboriginal Justice Agreement provides the context, background and rationale for the commitments outlined in the Agreement.
For three years, the Aboriginal Justice Unit consulted with Aboriginal people across the Northern Territory. Consultations were informed by data, statistics and research on how our justice system can be improved. The consultations found that:
- justice services do not effectively meet the needs of Aboriginal people.
- there is insufficient emphasis on addressing the underlying causes of offending and that Aboriginal people don’t use the complaints processes that are available.
- there is insufficient involvement of Aboriginal leaders in decision-making and that many Aboriginal people feel alienated from the justice system that is intended, and must serve all Territorians both fairly and equally.