The purpose of these public hearings was to hear from Aboriginal leaders working in the area of criminal justice as part of Yoorrook’s inquiry into the harm done to First Peoples by unjust laws and practices within this system.
Witnesses gave evidence about issues including:
- Police and prisons being used to deal with First Peoples experiencing mental health and homelessness issues
- First Peoples being incarcerated for crimes of poverty
- The connection between domestic violence and the incarceration of Aboriginal women
- The disproportionate use of tasers on and strip searches of First Peoples, including children, by police
- The need to raise the age of criminal responsibility
- The impact of failing to implement changes to Victoria’s public drunkenness laws
- The need for independent police oversight and better training of police to improve interactions with First Peoples
- The need to reform the Bail Act to reduce deaths in custody
- The benefits of expanding the Koori Court and the need to develop a specialist state-wide Children’s Court
- The lack of readily available and culturally appropriate healthcare in prisons
- A need for better training and cultural knowledge for all legal professionals
- That self-determination should represent actual decision-making power rather than consultation or codesign with First Peoples
Scroll down to view videos of the hearings, witness statements and evidence.