Close the Justice Gap

By Social Reinvestment WA

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In Western Australia, Aboriginal kids are 52 times more likely than their peers to be put in prison.

In Western Australia, 78 percent of the kids we put behind bars are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. In February 2018 Telethon Kids Institute found that 89 percent of those kids- the same ones locked up in Banksia Hill Detention Centre in Perth- have a severe cognitive impairment, and 36 percent have foetal alcohol spectrum disorder.

These are kids that are slipping through the cracks, and need intensive support not prisons.
And these same kids grow up to be adults.
In WA we imprison Aboriginal people at the highest rates in the country.
Western Australia imprisons Aboriginal people at a rate nine times higher than black South Africans under the Apartheid regime.

We need to Close the Justice Gap.

Close the Gap goals were set 10 years ago by the Australian government to tackle the huge economic, healthy and education inequalities expereinced by our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Only three of those seven targets are on track.

And none of them look at the huge gaps in our justice system. That Aboriginal people are more likely to be sent to prison. To be arrested rather than cautioned. To be jailed for unpaid fines. To end up back in prison after their inital release.

Social Reinvestment WA is calling for change.

For the first time the government are reviewing the Close the Gap goals in a "Refresh." And we have the opportunity to change them.

Social Reinvestment WA is a coalition of 18 non for profit organisations in Perth working to end the overrepresentation of Aboriginal and torres Strait Islander people in custody. We work for holistic system change and law reforms that will see WA focused on Healthy Families, Safe Communities, and Smart Justice for all people.

If we invest money in prevention and diversion, rehabilitation and reintegrations, we can stop the root causes of crime.
If we reform unfair and money wasting laws, we can keep families healthy, and our communities together and thriving!

This year we're campaigning for justice targets to be introduced into the Close the Gap framework.
We've written a submission to the Close the Gap Refresh, we're sharing the message on Social Media, we're meeting with WA's Attorney General and Treasurer, and we'll be running community events all year starting with Close the Gap Day (March 15th.)

But that's just one of the things we're doing.
We're also working on law reform to stop vulnerable Western Australians, many of them mothers, from being imprisoned for being unable to pay fines.
And we're working with researchers and leading non-for-profits in WA to design a Social Reinvestment trial site in collaboration with local WA communities to prove that these solutions can, and will, work for WA.

And we've got 23 other policies we're making ground on, that when put together offer REAL change.
Solutions for smarter justice. Solutions that will build healthier families, and make our communities safer.

We'll keep fighting. Until it is no longer the case that just because a child is born Aboriginal, they 52 times more likely to end up in prison in WA than their peers.

Ending the cycle of incarceration, trauma, and injustice starts here.
And you can be part of it.

We need to raise $10,000 by March 31st, 2018. The end of Close the Gap month.
During this time only, an anonymous donor has offered to match every single donation the public makes up to $10,000.

We're an organising big in community support, but small in resources.
Your contribution will be vitally important to help keep us operating that little while longer, and working to right this major injustice.

Every dollar is important to us and will go directly towards keeping us running.
If you think this cause is important, please consider contributing to us before March 31st, 2018!!!

For ever dollar you contribute until March 31st, an anonymous donor has offered to match it up to $10,000.
That's right, when you donate $30, we'll recieve a $60 donation to continue our work!
But if that's not enough of a perk...

  • If you're one of the first ten donors over $40, we'll send you a tote bag and sticker designed by a local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist once the campaign concludes.

  • If you donate over $30 you'll receive an awesome bumper sticker.

  • If you donate over $80, you'll receive one of our beautiful canvas tote bags, locally designed by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artist.

All perks will be sent out upon the conclusion of the Crowdfunding campaign, we're a very small team so please be patient with us.

Disclaimer: Social Reinvestment WA is a coalition of non for profits working together for systemic change.
Our funding, and thus all donations are carefully managed on our behalf by one of our member organisations, Wungening Aboriginal Corporation.


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Team Members

Sophie Stewart

Joslyn Tass