ANTaR is a national advocacy organisation dedicated specifically to the rights – and overcoming the disadvantage – of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through lobbying, public campaigns and advocacy. ANTaR listens to and supports the aspirations of First Peoples and works to educate the wider community, shape public opinion, speak up against injustice and influence public policy.
Australia’s First Peoples are dramatically over-represented in prison statistics. ANTaR is campaigning to change this unacceptable situation and to end Aboriginal deaths in custody. This campaign is for a smarter, more humane approach to crime that saves lives and builds safer communities.
Give them a life. Not a life in prison. Just Reinvest NSW is committed to addressing the overrepresentation of Aboriginal young people in custody. It aims to influence the New South Wales Government to shift spending that has been allocated for prisons towards community-based programs and services that address the factors that contribute to criminal behaviour in young people. Homelessness, child abuse, disability, high-risk drug and alcohol use, poor school attendance, a lack of appropriate services; violence, discrimination and poverty all act as precursors to young people becoming entrenched in the criminal justice system. There issues are difficult for Aboriginal young people to manage without help.
Build Communities Not Prisons is a campaign supported by people who believe that building more prisons and sending more people to prison is not the best way to improve community safety.
The Human Rights Law Centre, together with the National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, has been working to bring key national agencies together to show the extent of the crisis and to advocate for evidence-based solutions, highlighting best practice around what works to reduce over-imprisonment and promote community safety. The campaign will look beyond the justice system to develop strategies to address the social, health and financial causes of high Indigenous imprisonment.
Agencies committed to the campaign so far include: National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (NATSILS), National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples, Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care (SNAICC), Indigenous Doctors Association, National Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (NFVPLS), National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NAACHO), First Peoples Disability Network Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda, OXFAM Australia, Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation (ANTAR), Amnesty International Australia, Sisters Inside and the Federation of Community Legal Centres.
A coalition of legal and social support organisations led by the Federation of Community Legal Centres (Victoria) Inc, the peak body for Victoria’s 50 community legal centres.
We promote a safer community through criminal justice policies that reduce crime, are based on evidence, and comply with human rights. We know the impacts of crime, we care about victims, we seek the support and rehabilitation of offenders, and we aim to achieve a safer community for everyone.
Part of this is Smart Justice for Young People, which recognises the special legal and justice issues affecting young people in the formative years between the ages of 12 and 25.