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Letter to Hon. Gerry McCarthy MLA from Priscilla Collins Chief Executive Officer North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency NAAJA's response to the New Era in Corrections dated 23 February 2011



Letter to Hon. Gerry McCarthy MLA from Priscilla Collins Chief Executive Officer North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency NAAJA's response to the New Era in Corrections dated 23 February 2011

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Tabled paper 1429


Tabled papers for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; Tabled papers; ParliamentNT




Tabled By Gerald McCarthy


Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.




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Recommendation 6: Voice recognition technology should not replace face-to-face exchanges NAAJA is concerned that Aboriginal people will be disproportionately disadvantaged by this new system, given the focus on people living remotely. We suggest that voice recognition technology should not be the primary mode of communication between a Supervising Officer and people on community based dispositions or parole. Rehabilitation should remain the focus and therefore face-to-face exchanges between a supervising officer and the person should always be preferred above electronic or telephone based contact. Furthermore, we have noted above the issues faced by many Aboriginal people with respect to consistent access to telephones, transience, lack of understanding of reporting requirements and obligations to attend upon cultural business. We submit that requiring remote Aboriginal people to call in from a specific telephone at a specific time may prove difficult, exposing Aboriginal people to higher chances of being breached, and therefore incarcerated. Stronger Reintegration Support' Recommendation 7: Community based Law and Justice Groups, providing in custody and on community reintegration support, should be funded. Funding Law and Justice Groups accords with Action 1.1.1a of the NILJF: Establish and support local Indigenous law groups to provide advice to police, youth justice, courts and corrections in urban, regional and remote settings, and Action 5.1.1a: Provide necessary support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to develop ongoing community leadership capacity. Law and Justice Groups have multiple functions including: sitting as Elders in Community Courts, conducting culturally appropriate community mediations, assisting with the Visiting Elders Program, and working closely with Community Corrections officers when community members are subject to supervisory offers. Funding Law and Justice Groups would allow Elders to not only act as mediators and role models for people in custody, but to also play a similar, early intervention and support role in community. Law and Justice Groups are also essential to promoting reintegration and community safety. Further, NAAJA considers it important that Elders are employed and paid for their services to the community and prison. This is in keeping with Action 5.3.1b of the NILJF which suggests that governments: [sjupport initiatives that equitably remunerate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples for the services they perform as part of the justice system: This not only recognises the invaluable contribution of Elders, but also provides for training and ongoing employment prospects. 7

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