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Law Council of Australia says there is ‘systemic racism’ in our justice system

The Australian justice system’s over-incarceration of indigenous Australians is evidence of ‘systemic racism’, according to Australia’s peak law body.

A quarter of all Australian prisoners are indigenous, when they represent less than three per cent of the national population.

The head of the Law Council of Australia, Morry Bailes, said the over-incarceration rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders is ‘shameful’.

“It’s a problem we can’t ignore, it’s (incarceration of Aboriginal or Torres Strait islander people) gone up 88 per cent in the last ten years,” Mr Bailes told Tom Elliott.

Tom said he believed it to be the opposite, that the system is ‘blind’ to people’s race.

Mr Bailes also pointed out the incredible cost of keeping a young person in prison in Australia.

“To detain a youth in Australia, costs on average $521,000 per annum, an adult $104,000 an annum,” he said.

“I’m sorry that cannot be right, it cannot cost five times more to detain an adult than a child,” Tom replied.

“Well that is the case.”

After some research by Tom’s producers, 3AW Drive found the numbers that it does indeed cost more than half a million dollars on average to keep a youth in jail for one year.

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More than one-third of adult women behind bars are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Photo: APP | Lotus Glen Correctional Centre in North Queensland