Bail support program provides more support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees

Released 07/12/2017

The Government has partnered with the Aboriginal Legal Service to develop a two-year bail support program to address the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our justice system, Minister for Justice Shane Rattenbury announced today.

As part of the Government’s commitment to Justice Reinvestment, reducing recidivism and strengthening communities, the two-year trial will see the development of a culturally appropriate model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander detainees at the Alexander McConachie Centre.

The trial will include court-based bail support, outreach bail support and support of bail applications from detainees.

The trial will be known as Ngurrambai (Nuh-ram-buy), a Ngunnawal word meaning ‘perceive’ (I see, I hear, I understand).

Two Ngurrambai Support Officers will provide support to individuals applying for or granted bail. This support will include the development of a bail plan unique to each person, with goals set that support a person’s immediate needs and compliance with their bail conditions.

The Justice Reinvestment trial forms part of the Government’s commitment to developing a smarter, more cost-effective approach by reducing crime, improving public safety and strengthening communities. The Labor-Greens Parliamentary Agreement includes a commitment to reduce recidivism by 25 per cent by 2025.

The Ngurrambai trial marks the second of the Government’s Justice Reinvestment trials, onwards from the launch of the ‘Yarrabi Bamirr’ family-focused trial in April 2017.

An Aboriginal Trial Coordinator has been engaged within JACS to support the trial process and its evaluation.

Comments attributable to Minister for Justice Shane Rattenbury:

“Justice Reinvestment is one of the ways we are striving to develop smarter, community and family-focused, inclusive and cost-effective outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

“Rather than do things ‘to’, we can only achieve positive long-term outcomes by working in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. In providing detainees with strong, culturally-appropriate bail program support, the Ngurrambai trial is an important step towards this end.

“The evidence shows that where justice reinvestment measures are put in place, individuals, their families and the wider community benefit.”

Comments attributable to ALS Chairman Bunja Smith:

“The trial will support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who, in the absence of bail support, would likely be ineligible for bail.

“We are very pleased to be working with the ACT Government to deliver this program on behalf of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.”

Minister Rattenbury will formally launch the Ngurrambai trial at 13:00 (1pm today). Further details, event audio and photos will be made available on request.

- Statement ends -

Section: Shane Rattenbury, MLA | Media Releases

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