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We’re not racist but…

We’re not racist but…

About 3% of Australia's population are indigenous. Since 1992 the percentage of people in prison who are indigenous has more than doubled to 30% (83% in the Northern Territory). Incarceration of Aboriginal women has increased by 60% in the last 10 years. 48% of all juveniles in prison are indigenous. Aboriginal children between the ages of 10 and 14 are 11 times more likely to be charged by police. Compared to non-indigenous people, indigenous Australians are statistically more likely to be charged over a minor offence, receive a custodial sentence if convicted and on average serve longer sentences for the same offence. Overall indigenous Australians are 15 times more likely to be incarcerated than non-indigenous Australians, unless they live in WA where it’s 20 times more likely.

Australia today is the highest gaoler of indigenous people, three times higher than the US (our nearest rival) and nearly four times that of South Africa under Apartheid. Whoever becomes Australia’s Prime minister in the next week or so, it’s time they gave the Indigenous Affairs portfolio to someone who’s going to take the job seriously.

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on April 4, 2015.


What is the situation about voting for prisoners here? Apparently in US once anyone has a prison record, (or is it merely a criminal record?) they lose forever the civil right of voting. Unlikely to increase sense of having a stake in society. I suppose that doesn't matter; the real puirpose of taking away their voting rights is to disenfranchise a potentially critical and alienated section of population who just might want to elect someone the power elite would be threatened by. Black Americans.
Now why hasn't Australia followed this effective means of silencing dissenters? Is there some constitutional block to it?
For that matter how has the US got away with this blatant disenfranchisement of a section of the population who only in recent memory began to get that right? Surely there must be some constitutional or legal block to this?