BLACK LIVES MATTER
Our justice system should treat every single Victorian equally and fairly, regardless of your race or how much money you have.
'But the reality is Victoria’s prisons have become vast warehouses, made up primarily of the most disadvantaged and marginalised.'
Under the current state government, since December 2014, while overall imprisonment has increased by 25%, at the same time First Nation prisoner numbers have increased by 70%. Greater imprisonment puts more people at risk of death in custody.
In a landmark case, a Victorian Coroner investigated the role of ‘systemic racism’ in the death of Yorta Yorta woman, Tanya Day, who died while in police custody. The Coroner has recommended the case to public prosecutors. No further actions have been taken.
In January this year, Veronica Marie Nelson Walker, also a Yorta Yorta woman, died while in custody after being refused bail for alleged shoplifting.
These deaths should never have happened, as these women should never have been in jail.
Mass imprisonment happens because dishonest and unethical politicians use the most marginalised people as political pawns in a ‘tough on crime’ approach.
We will never be safe while the current state government continues to spend billions building new prisons, money which would be better spent on public housing, education and mental health.
I'm backing the Aboriginal voices calling for:
- End the mass imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by repealing punitive bail laws, mandatory sentencing laws, abolishing the crime of public drunkenness and raising the age of criminal responsibility to 14.
- Give judges more sentencing options, beyond just prison.
- Implement all of the Royal Commission’s findings into Aboriginal deaths in custody.
- Stop police investigating police - including deaths in custody.
- End racial profiling, by making police record and report the race of those they stop.
- Break the cycle of engagement with the prison system, by ending homelessness, and investing in education, drug, alcohol and mental health support.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
Premier Andrews, commit to stopping the mass imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by investing in communities, not prisons.