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Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report

Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report

The Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report was released by the Royal Commission in 1991. It found that the factors causing Aboriginal people to come into conflict with the criminal justice system was a fundamental cause for the over representation of Aboriginal people in custody. It listed the systemic disadvantaged and unequal position of Aboriginal people in society – socially, economically and culturally - as the most significant contributing factor and recommended that Aboriginal Legal Service providers extend beyond legal advice to investigation and research into law reform.

The following year, Prime Minister Paul Keating delivered the famous Redfern Speech in which he notably acknowledged the injustices and wrongdoings that Aboriginal people have experienced. He said;

We simply cannot sweep injustice aside...
The Report of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody showed with devastating clarity that the past lives on in inequality, racism and injustice...
The message should be that there is nothing to fear or to lose in the recognition of historical truth, or the extension of social justice, or the deepening of Australian social democracy to include [I]ndigenous Australians.

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