In the lead-up to the launch of the #JustJustice book next Sunday (see details at the bottom of this post), we are publishing a new article from the series each day this week.
Lynda Ryder and Michelle Adams, two Yindjibarndi women from Karratha with many years of experience in cultural community development, share their suggestions for a fairer justice system in the interview below.
Among their suggestions are:
- Local cultural competence training for police and others involved in the justice system, including judges and magistrates.
- Western law and justice system should learn from Aboriginal knowledges and cultural practices.
- Courts should employ Aboriginal advocates to assist offenders and families.
- Culturally appropriate alternatives must be found to locking up people when this is not needed for community safety. Too many people are locked up for repeat driving offences, that could be better dealt with in other ways.
- Policing should work with the community to keep the community safe, rather than take a punitive focus.
- Policing and justice systems need to be work with the families of offenders. Families should be supported to assist family members through rehabilitation and to rebuild their lives post prison release.
- An end to the problematising of Aboriginal people by colonial structures and systems.
- Address racism within the criminal justice system.
Lynda Ryder concluded the interview by saying:
“I hope that anything we’ve said can be taken in the way that it was given and it’s shared. And it helps somewhere along the way to get people to think differently, about a lot of things, not just the justice system. There’s justice in education, there’s justice in housing, there’s justice right across the board. Are we being just to everyone? I would say, probably not.”
Watch the interview below
You can read more than 80 #JustJustice articles published to date here.
Croakey acknowledges and thanks all those who donated to support #JustJustice (see their names here). We also thank and acknowledge our premium sponsors, the Jesuit Social Services, and Frank Meany of One Vision.