Thirty years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody #RCIADIC, there’s growing anger that key recommendations for change are ‘gathering dust’ on the country’s political shelves.
Since the inquiry, more than 470 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, women and children have died in custodial settings and the number keeps rising.
The anniversary sparked a call for urgent action from some of the families of those who have died, including the implementation of all the recommendations of the Royal Commission and an independent investigation of all deaths in custody.
Among the key issues highlighted by community leaders are the impact of racism throughout the criminal justice system, the need to improve health services in jails – including palliative care, a lack of support for families involved in coronial hearings, and the ongoing battle to raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14.
Croakey Voices explored the issues with Associate Professor Megan Williams, Wiradjuri justice health researcher and educator, and member of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare National Prisoner Health Information Committee; Jeffery Amatto, founder of the ‘More Cultural Rehabs, Less Jails’ program; and Dr Peter Malouf, Wakka Wakka and Wuli Wuli executive director of operations at the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW.
- Dr Megan Williams: Research Lead and Assistant Director of the National Centre for Cultural Competence at the University of Sydney, member of the Australian Institute of Health.
- Jeffery Amatto: Founder ‘More Cultural Rehabs, Less Jails’ program and co-founder Brothers 4 Recovery Alcohol and Drug Awareness.
- Dr Peter Malouf: Wakka Wakka and Wuli Wuli man and executive director of operations at the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council of NSW.
This podcast is part of Croakey’s #RuralHealthJustice series, putting a sustained focus on issues being raised to mark the 30th anniversary of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.