WA Greens: Addressing Aboriginal incarceration must be a matter of priority for State Government

The WA Greens have written to Premier Barnett calling on the state government to address Aboriginal incarceration as a matter of priority following another death in custody at Casuarina State on 2 November 2015.

WA Greens spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Robin Chapple MLC said the government’s track record on Aboriginal deaths in custody was particularly woeful.

“There are a number of complex issues at play here that are yet to be acknowledged and a government who appears to be wishing that they would simply just go away, rather than working with the Aboriginal community to properly address them,” Mr Chapple said.

“Mr Cameron’s death was avoidable. He had attempted to take his own life in the week preceding his death and his family had raised concerns about his well-being and mental health.

“Why was he not under appropriate supervision given his history? Why had real steps to address his mental health not been taken prior to the attempts on his life? These factors are recurrent in many Aboriginal deaths in custody and indicative of the state’s failure to properly address Aboriginal mental health issues, particularly within the prison system.”

Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Issues Senator Rachel Siewert said the justice system was fundamentally failing Aboriginal people in Western Australia.

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Source: WA Greens