Walama Court

Walama Court

In response to my questions in Parliament, the Attorney General says that the government has not prepared a business case for a specialist Walama Court within the District Court to divert Indigenous offenders from prison and reduce reoffending, but will consider it as part of the response to the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Drug 'Ice'. My questions: > HERE.

After meeting with Walama Court supporters, I’ve asked the Attorney General to urgently introduce this court, which would provide intensive monitoring and supervision of offenders along with wrap-around health and welfare programs to address underlying problems, including the well-documented intergenerational trauma many First Nations People carry. Together with presiding judges, Elders and respected community members would be involved in sentencing and follow up.

The government committed to reducing the rate of Aboriginal incarceration by at least 15 per cent by 2031 under ‘Closing the Gap’. The Walama Court provides a direct mechanism to achieve this goal, with clear benefits. There are also significant financial returns, with the business case identifies the court would reduce the annual costs of Aboriginal incarceration of more than $216 million.

The minister’s response to my questions about the Drug Court show that it has helped divert people from prison and reduce re-offending, and a Walama Court would build on this example: > HERE.

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