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Adelaide conference to deal with over-representation and custodial death of Indigenous prisoners

Media Release

13 October 1999

Opening today, Best Practice Interventions in Corrections for Indigenous People, aims to examine and compare some of the best practice interventions being used within the Australian correctional system for Indigenous people.

"We believe the outcomes of this conference will be invaluable to policy-makers, correctional administrators and practitioners working in the Aboriginal criminal justice field", Dr Adam Graycar, Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology said today.

"We have gathered together a wide range of experts from Australia and overseas, and I think we can really make a difference, by addressing the underlying issues, such as disadvantage and inequality, that have contributed to the excessive incarceration rates of Indigenous people."

Issues to be discussed include:

  • Classification and case management for Indigenous prisoners
  • Provision of medical services and health care issues
  • Pre- and post-release programs
  • Awareness training for correctional officers and other professional staff
  • Vocational education and training
  • Programs tailored to Indigenous women
  • Violence, Drug and alcohol, Sex offender and Behaviour modification Programs
  • Alternatives to imprisonment, Sentencing options, Restorative justice
  • Accommodation design issues
  • International comparisons and experiences
  • Incarceration and deaths in custody trends
  • Programs for reducing self-harm and suicide.

Key speakers include:

  • John Paget, Chief Executive, Department for Correctional Services, SA
  • David Rathman, CEO, Division of State Aboriginal Affairs, SA
  • Commissioner Colin Dillon, ATSIC
  • Dr Bill Jonas, AM, Commissioner, ATSIC
  • Tauto Sansbury, Chairperson, National Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee
  • Winsome Matthews, NSW Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee
  • Dr Leo Keliher, Commissioner, NSW Department of Correctional Services
  • Terry Simpson, General Manager, Prison Services, Ministry of Justice, WA
  • Frank Peach, Director-General, Department of Corrective Services, Queensland
  • James Ryan, Director, ACT Corrective Services
  • Robert Brokenshire, SA Minister for Police, Corrections and Emergency Services
  • Senator John Herron, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs
  • Mitch Kassen, Canada Corrections
  • Shirl Chartrand, Corrections Service of Canada
  • Dr Haami Piripi, Cultural Perspectives, NZ Corrections.

The conference is being held by the Australian Institute of Criminology at the Hindley Parkroyal and runs until Friday. The Institute will release the paper Aboriginal Deaths in Prison 1980 to 1998 at the conference.