New Indigenous Justice Research Program funding announced

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews, and Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt have today announced the recipients of the Indigenous Justice Research Program (IJRP) funding.

The program was established by the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), in collaboration with the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and the Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse (IJC) and the Justice Policy Partnership as part of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Particularly Priority Reform Four—shared access to data and information at the regional level and Outcomes 10 and 11 to reduce youth detention and adult incarceration.

The program funds research into the factors that contribute to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander over-representation in the criminal justice system, while aiming to reduce the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in detention.

Deputy Director of the AIC, Dr Rick Brown said this innovative program aims to build a body of evidence to inform improvements to criminal justice polices and responses to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander individuals interacting with the justice system.

“We’re proud to announce the successful projects today, which support new research and complement existing evidence,” Dr Brown said.

Further details on the projects are in the table below:


Project title


Curtin University of Technology Treating co-occurring substance use disorder and mental illness among Indigenous people released from prison will increase life expectancy, reduce incarceration, and contribute to Closing the Gap



James Cook University A collaborative throughcare model for reducing the over-representation of Australian Indigenous youth living in remote and rural Northern Australia



Department for Correctional Services SA Validation of the Violence Risk Scale for Australian prison populations



University of New South Wales Reducing hyper-incarceration of First Nations Peoples by removing barriers to mental health diversion



Monash University Optimising the availability and provision of Indigenous language interpreting in circuit courts



University of Western Australia Reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal youth in the justice system in the west Kimberley region of Western Australia through place-based Aboriginal led diversion, and ‘mobile’ therapeutic courts: envisioning a paradigm shift in Aboriginal youth justice



University of New South Wales Sentencing to create just outcomes: impact of trauma and strength of culture: Evaluating the impact of the Bugmy Bar Book Resources – the first 3 years



National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre The contribution of drug and alcohol abuse to Indigenous over-representation in prison: A closer look at the evidence



University of Western Australia Indigenous peoples’ experiences with the criminal justice system: Stories that matter





The program sought applications in 2021 from researchers to identify and analyse:

  • the nature and drivers of overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the criminal justice and related systems;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ contact with and experience in the criminal justice and related systems;
  • policies, programs or other activities that will contribute to a reduction in the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the criminal justice and related systems; and/or
  • Indigenous approaches to crime and criminal justice.


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