First Peoples incarceration
Deaths in custody in Australia 2021–22
In 2021–22, there were 106 deaths in custody: 84 in prison custody and 22 in police custody or custody-related operations. In total, there were 24 Indigenous deaths and 81 non-Indigenous deaths in custody and one death of a person whose Indigenous status was unknown. This...
This report is report based on research with Aboriginal communities in Bourke, Moree and Mt Druitt. It conveys their experiences of the criminal justice system and captures their perspectives on ‘reinvestment’ in New South Wales. The report also invites government to commence a process of...
The impact of the NSW Youth Koori Court on sentencing and re-offending outcomes
The aim of this research was investigate the impact of the NSW Youth Koori Court (YKC) on youth justice outcomes, including the probability of being sentenced to a juvenile control order (JCO) and recidivism.
Wirkara Kulpa: Aboriginal youth justice strategy 2022–2032
This strategy was developed and led from the outset by the Aboriginal Justice Caucus. This process commenced with a planning workshop in 2018 where the Caucus outlined their aspirations for, and approach to, creating Victoria’s first Aboriginal youth justice strategy.
Reforming police oversight in Victoria
This policy brief sets out Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service’s (VALS) position on the key principles for reform of Victoria’s police oversight system.
Deaths in custody in Australia 2020–21
The National Deaths in Custody Program has monitored the extent and nature of deaths occurring in prison, police custody and youth detention in Australia since 1980. In 2020–21 there were 82 deaths in custody: 66 in prison custody and 16 in police custody or custody-related...
Deaths in custody in Australia 2019-20
The National Deaths in Custody Program has monitored the extent and nature of deaths occurring in prison, police custody and youth detention in Australia since 1980. In 2019-20 there were 113 deaths in custody. This report contains detailed information on these deaths and compares the...
Northern Territory Aboriginal justice agreement 2021–2027
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.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices in disability support services: a collation of systematic reviews
This report synthesises the published literature on how First Nations people in Australia understand and experience disability, and on promising practice in disability support services for Indigenous people internationally, in order to inform cultural safety in Australian disability services.
Our youth, our way
This report examines the lived experiences of Aboriginal children and young people in Victoria and the factors contributing to their over-representation in the youth justice system.
Understanding the decline in Aboriginal young people in custody in NSW from 2015 to 2019
This paper examines the recent downward trend of young Aboriginal people being imprisoned in New South Wales.
The high level of First Nations people in custody and oversight and review of deaths in custody: report
This report highlights that the current arrangements for reviewing deaths in custody are complex, with many of the functions overlapping across a number of different oversight bodies, and not one lead body to coordinate an effective approach.
30 years on: Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody recommendations remain unimplemented
This paper outlines concerns with the 2018 Deloitte Access Economics review of the implementation of the 339 recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
Connecting the dots: the sentencing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland
This report examines court data for cases involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples sentenced in Queensland between July 2005 and June 2019.
Close the gap - leadership and legacy through crises: keeping our mob safe
The 2021 'Close the Gap' report showcases the leadership of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, communities and organisations throughout critical health crises in 2020, and how strengths-based approaches are the most effective way to improve health outcomes for Australia’s First Peoples.
Evaluation of Murri Court: prepared for the Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General
This review provides a mainly qualitative sociological approach to receive and analyse stories and perspectives from those who work in or have otherwise experienced Murri Court.
Building back better: Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service COVID-19 recovery plan
This strategy document identifies key issues and makes targeted recommendations across criminal, civil and family law – with the objective of ensuring Aboriginal people are not left behind.
“It’s good to know each other, to be Kungas” final report
This is an evaluation report produced on behalf of the Kunga Stopping Violence Program (KSVP), a throughcare program supporting Aboriginal women who have been incarcerated in the Alice Springs Correctional Centre for an alleged violent offence. It replaces an earlier interim report, published August 2020.
Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service submission to the Department of Premier and Cabinet consultation on Victorian Youth Strategy
This submission focuses on the rights of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young people involved in the criminal, civil and family law systems.
Deaths in custody in Australia 2018–19
This report contains detailed information on the 113 deaths in custody in 2018–19 (89 in prison custody and 24 in police custody or custody-related operations), and compares these findings to longer-term trends.
Seclusion and restraint: time for a paradigm shift
This research has found high use of seclusion and restraint in prisons, children and young people’s residences and health and disability units, particularly of Māori and Pacific Peoples, prompting calls from the NZ Human Rights Commission for detention agencies to shift their practices. This report...
Seeing the clear light of day: expert reference group on decriminalising public drunkenness
This report has been prepared by the expert reference group appointed to advise the Victorian government on the decriminalisation of public drunkenness and the development of an alternative health-based response.
Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS) submission to the inquiry into the use of cannabis in Victoria
This document forms the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service's (VALS) submission to the Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee Inquiry into the use of cannabis in Victoria (2020).
“It’s good to know each other, to be Kungas” interim report
This is an interim evaluation report produced on behalf of the Kunga Stopping Violence Program (KVSP), a throughcare program supporting Aboriginal women who have been incarcerated in the Alice Springs Correctional Centre for an alleged violent offence. It outlines the initial findings of a broader...
Black lives matter: always have, always will
In response to the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services have compiled legal and policy reforms that need to be implemented to advance the cause of true justice in Australia.