Policing in Aboriginal communities

Photo: Flickr/ Newtown graffiti

PIAC’s Indigenous Justice Project, generously supported by law firm Allens, has sought to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in detention through strategic litigation in relation to police powers.

PIAC challenges police practice in dealing with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Current casework focuses on civil claims for assault, battery, false imprisonment and/or trespass arising from:

  • unlawful arrests including unlawful arrest for breach of bail;
  • unlawful entry by police onto property for bail compliance checks;
  • unlawful stop and searches; and
  • unlawful searches or home visits in relation to people on Suspect Target Management Plans.

PIAC makes submissions to government and parliamentary inquiries, at both State and Federal levels, and has published stand-alone reports, in relation to bail reform; the high incidence of involvement of Aboriginal juveniles in the criminal justice system; justice reinvestment; appropriate diversion from the criminal justice system; and the need for rehabilitation and support after release from prison.

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