7.30 Report - Circle Sentencing
Authorities trial 'Circle Court' for Aboriginal punishment. Although Indigenous people constitute only 2 per cent of Australia's population, they account for 20 per cent of the prison population.
The raft of recommendations of the Royal Commission into Black Deaths in Custody back in the late '80s may have helped reduce the death rate of Aborigines in jail, but nothing has broken that striking imbalance of incarceration.
In NSW, authorities are trialling alternative systems, one of which is based on a Canadian program of the early 1990s. In what is called the 'Circle Court', tribal elders play a key role in determining the punishment for repeat offenders.
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