|This week Guardian Australia launched a new series looking at the issue of Indigenous incarceration, exploring what can and is being done to change the statistics that shame a nation.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are 14 times more likely to be in custody than non-Indigenous people. A teenage boy who identifies as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander is more likely to go to jail than go to university and, because of the high incarceration rate, is more likely to die in custody than any non-Indigenous person they pass on the street. The figures in some parts of Australia are even worse. In the Northern Territory, 97% of youth detainees are Indigenous.
But amid the grim statistics there are points of hope, which Guardian Australia is exploring in this series – from cooperation between health and youth workers in Ceduna in South Australia to cultural programs and early intervention. We are also trying to find new ways of telling the story, exploring the pathways to incarceration through our interactive case study, Jacob’s story.
Yesterday, we profiled the work of Balunu Indigenous Youth Healing Foundation, an Indigenous-run camp for young people in contact with the criminal justice system, and looked at justice reinvestment in Cowra in New South Wales.
Today, we are looking at how the town of Ceduna in South Australia is attempting to keep its Indigenous youth out of jail.
Guardian Australia has a deep commitment to covering Indigenous affairs. Helen Davidson, our Northern Territory correspondent, was reporting details of the Don Dale scandal more than six months before the ABC’s report sparked a national outcry and a royal commission. In Western Australia, Calla Wahlquist provided extensive coverage of the coronial inquest into the death in custody of Aboriginal woman, Ms Dhu.
Since launching in 2013, we’ve been recognised with two Walkley awards for Paul Daley and Stan Grant’s powerful writing, and our reporters continue to shine a light on past and current injustices, while every week we host Indigenous voices through the IndigenousX partnership.
We take great pride in our coverage and this series, but creating quality journalism costs money. As part of the series we sent reporter Melissa Davey to Ceduna to look at what is being done there to prevent young Aboriginal people from ending up in jail and to investigate the rollout of the government’s cashless welfare card.
If you’d like to help fund projects like this series, please consider supporting us with a monthly or one-off contribution.
These are important stories and we thank you for your support.
Deputy news editor