This paper is targeted on indigenous or aboriginal fatalities in guardianship in Australia. This issue isn't only in Australia but this can be a widespread occurrence since there is certainly overrepresentation of Aboriginal in the justice systems especially the unlawful justice systems. The indigenous people will be the most marginalized around the world especially when one talks about social, health economic and educational conditions that they are put in. This is why the indigenous people are always criminalized which is justified by instances from countries such as United States of America, New Zealand and Canada (Sallybanks, 2005). In Canada aboriginal include just 3% of the whole population however they have the majority criminals in guardianship being that they are seventeen percent of the inmates in the national prisons. In a few penitentiaries in Canada the Aboriginal constitute to 60% of the inmates. Inside a province such as Saskatchewan Aboriginal are incarcerated thirty five more times than the population which is the mainstream.
This paper talks about the legal justice system in Australia and how there is indigenous overrepresentation in the same system. Furthermore, the newspaper looks into the findings which have been done by research workers on the indigenous fatalities which happen when they are incarcerated in the context of Royal Commission payment which was done on the Aboriginal fatalities in custody (Joudo & Curnow, 2007). Using other articles and research materials, the newspaper takes into account then deaths of prisoners in prisons and police force custodies, which reveal some of the issues which relate to Aboriginal a reaction to the machine of legal justice, more particularly in exercise of appropriate work of care plus more specifically in the reduced amount of the criminalization of the Aboriginal societies and communities.
The dialogue on indigenous fatalities in custody cannot be complete if one will not discuss about the task of the royal Payment which was designed to find out the sources of Aboriginal fatalities in guardianship in Australia. This percentage was set up in 1987 and it findings were shown four years later to the national parliament. This commission payment was made by some organizations that have been in support of the indigenous neighborhoods in Australia. The organizations included Aboriginal legal service, that was meant to protect the family members of these who acquired died during their time in prison and also their supporters (Australian Bureau of Information, 1996). In the first 1980s there have been many deaths which occurred to people who had been in prisons and law enforcement custody, which caused serious security alarm in all areas especially the Aboriginal population in the united states.
The overrepresentation of the Aboriginal people in guardianship was one of the major causes of deaths in custody according to the report presented by the Royal Percentage. However, there is negligence of obligation to the area of the authorities thus resulting in deaths of the Aboriginal populace. The committee found out that the custodial government bodies had no understanding of duty of attention; there were other defects to the machine that have been related to worry that lead to such fatalities. Furthermore, there were other failures which related to the exercise of good care. In some instances the shortage to provide care right to the inmates also contributed to the fatalities of the Aboriginal people in guardianship. In his findings on New South Wales a commissioner by the name McCall (2004) figured,
"Every one of the (18) deaths was possibly avoidable and in a more enlightened and useful system. . . might possibly not have occurred. A lot of those who died should not or do not need to have been around in custody whatsoever. " He found that "negligence, lack of health care, and/or breach of instructions for custodial authorities were found to acquire played an important role in the circumstances resulting in 13 of the 18 fatalities investigated" (pg63).
The position of the indigenous people which is disadvantaged one and also unequal has contributed to the difficulty in bringing these people to get hold of with the unlawful justice system. The fee found that in order to do away with these disadvantages and inequality is merely through self-determination, empowerment and reconciliation of the indigenous people (Williams, 2001). From the commissions' findings, it was mentioned that the Aboriginality of the individual was also a key point and in a few specific conditions the dominating person in Aboriginality lead to the eventual loss of life in custody and also the placement of the person. In almost 50% of the situations which had been reported the sufferer had been segregated from his/her family since childhood and such a percentage also had been in custody since the years 15 years. It was also observed that over eighty percent of the conditions the victims were unemployed. Usually the dead people were reported to experienced early contact with the unlawful justice system or acquired repeated cases in the system. The history of the Aboriginal people is also a factor that plays a part in the loss of life in guardianship. This factor was also highlighted in the article by Dalton (1996b) where he says that,
"The annals of Aboriginal relationships with the broader community has impacted upon Aboriginal people in lots of ways. Collectively, Aboriginal people have been denied usage of the communal and economic vitality, which is vital to effective participation in mainstream culture. The dislocation of Aboriginal people from their land and culture, and the intrusion of Traditional western contemporary society into Aboriginal life have rendered many Aboriginal kinds of social control inadequate. The dependence, which characterized the limited and controlled manner in which most Aboriginal people lived for much of recent history, has still left people poorly outfitted to cope with the many sociable problems they experience" (pg 45).
There were e 339 recommendations which were created by the Royal Percentage in order to accomplish some goals in lowering the custody levels, assuring do it yourself willpower and remedying disadvantages that happen to be associated to interpersonal life. There were commitments in every succeeding governments in Australia in reaching and applying these recommendations. There have been also recommendations which were designed to reduce custody fatalities m, which included the complete removal of hanging places from cells, increase of training to the judiciary and law enforcement officials in cross culture societies and increase of consciousness to the medical and custodial staff in issues concerning the proper handling of indigenous and no-indigenous individuals who have been incarcerated (Joudo & Veld, 2005).
The findings of the manner of death act like the sources of death. The way in which of death is at many types, it can be self inflicted, justifiable homicide, and natural triggers, accidental or unlawful homicide. Within the self inflicted fatality, this is considered to be any form of home harm that may lead to death other than natural death. For instance gunshot wounds that happen to be self inflicted & most hangings are believed to be self inflicted deaths. There are circumstances that lead to fatalities and are approved for legal reasons such fatalities are called justifiable homicide e. g. a prisoner shot by way of a warden who is behaving in self-defence.
For any program of intervention appropriate and well-timed treatment is important to save lives. For one to have effective involvement it is important to treat every part of the incident or incident of self damage with the seriousness it deserves and not considering the action as whatever is manipulative. In some jurisdictions it is very important to provide prisoners with proper gain access to of experienced and proficient counseling staff for an instant response. Prisons in Australia have started out many of these programs such as the mobilization of clubs which are responsible for multi-discipline (Bhatia & Anderson, 1995). There is a recent procedure in New South Wales where there is deployment of Risk Involvement Team (RIT). Incase an incident is reported, a record is manufactured on the inmates circumstance file and specific record, while also a conclusion of the notification is made to the RIT. In the RIT form there are three categories of risks which can be indentified, suicide hazard, definite threat of suicide and an absolute self damage. The team consists of several people who include a nurse, custodial official and two other people of the team.
It is a requirement by the Section of Correction in New South Wales, that occurrences of suicide be looked into and concluded. In such circumstances, several treatment alternatives are recommended for instance, usage of site visitors by inmates, special placements, special dormitories or cells and counselling. Prisoners in Australia who are categorized as risky factors in conditions of self harm risk being put under the watch of turmoil care units (Dalton, 1999a). The existence of these products is areas such as Queensland, Victorian, New South Wales and jail systems in American Australia.
In order to manage inmates who are at risk various accommodation strategies have been put in place in Australian prisons. Prisoners are more likely to commit self injury or suicide when they are alone in cell; this has made many correction centers and prisons to come up with shared skin cells and dormitories to be able to avert these risks (Pedersen & Walker, 2000).
In a written report compiled from North Territory, the studies are that there are excellent results in dormitory accommodation, since problems in Aboriginal inmates has declined dramatically. In the recent past the technique of accommodating inmates who are suicidal in strip skin cells has been criticized. But in most extreme suicidal risks the use of strip skin cells, where an inmate is dispossessed all his/her clothing in order to reduce the chances of suicide, is being used in Tasmania. The coverage in New South Wales says that not inmate shall be stripped naked and devote a cell only. When the inmate is in extreme suicidal risk, then he shall stay completely clothed but at 24 hour surveillance by cameras and a safeguard. Several skin cells in Australia for example Australian Capital Place, Western Australia cells and Northern Place, have used cams to keep an eye on inmates (Biles & Dalton, 2001).
A survey that was released by the criminology unit of the Royal Commission rate into Aboriginal Fatalities in Guardianship (RCIADIC), recommends that Australian prisons should provide skin cells which are safe for prisoners who risk to commit suicide or who are a risk to themselves. Throughout the creation of such cells, hanging points would be removed for instance rails, pubs and light fittings. Safe skin cells would also increase surveillance of the prisoners thus so that it is easy to keep an eye on them (Day and Davison 2004).
This is another vital prevention strategy. This plan includes regular counseling and continuous diagnosis of prisoners by users of medical teams which are located in prisons, such teams comprise of the following members; social staff, psychologists, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses. Peer support programs are also other means which is often found in prisons to battle self injury or suicide. Such programs involve prisoners being taught important skills in peer support and they have been noticed to be essential in combating fatalities in custody and also monitoring distressed inmates which occurs during reception of inmates (Chen et al. 2005). A jail such as Mount Gambier which is in Southern Australia has such an application where inmates are on duty 24 hours to aid fellow inmates. The program has been enhanced through regular committee meetings between peer users and the jail administration.
Support plans which involve prisoners have been put in place especially those geared to Aboriginal inmates and the programs include visit plans for the Aboriginals, prisoner support services for the Aboriginals and personnel who are psychologists in essence inclined to the Aboriginal inmates' welfare. Various jurisdictions in Australia have emphasized on the significance of prisoners support visit programs. There's also been an attempt to increase the contact between visitors and the modification staff. This is aimed at increasing communication between prisoners so as the prisoners can effectively connect their risks and needs and also to seek better services from the personnel (Joudo, 2006b).
This idea of handling prisons has been there for many years. In a number of jurisdictions, they may be viewed as vital in monitoring of inmates for signs of difficulty and anguish. In prisons such as New South Wales, individual's management strategies are developed and they're continuously assed by the management team which is set up by the supervision for discipline steps. Such a program was created to increase co-operation and interaction between the inmates and the prison staff. Inside the Victorian model of controlling inmates, the prisons are segmented in to small sections or devices which are often controllable (Atkinson & Dagger, 1996). People of personnel are allocated in each product daily to forget about and keep an eye on the inmates in such products on a long term basis. There is greater conversation between members of staff and inmates in such models thus reducing stress and problems among prisoners.
In case of an transfer of any inmate in prisons such as New South Wales, the prisoner is accompanied with his/her case management files so as to improve the services. There has been an arrangement between various departments in Australia for example Correction Department, Federal police force and ACT Junior Justice which includes formalized the exchange of important information about an inmate for proper monitoring. Exchange of information about inmates and proper communication within various correctional corporations is recommended in Australia. The new style of suicide avoidance in European Australia has emphasized communication and responsibility of varied correctional departments in order to reduce deaths in custody (Collins & Mouzos, 2001). Drills in suicide prevention and training are part and parcel of the recently formed suicide avoidance strategy.
Within the new frame work of suicide reduction the Office of justice in the European Australian Correctional centers, has made its main concern to reduce jail stressors. The following procedures have been suggested by the division:
The expansion of programs in peer support also to increase the roles of fellow prisoners in minimizing custody deaths,
To increase prisoners recreational activities such as provision of facilities such as radio and tv the remanded prisoners and those who are in threat of committing suicide advertisement,
Reducing overcrowding in prisons through bettering the prison facilities.
The new system in Australian prisons has been put in location to stabilize punishment standards in every prisons and to set up new systems for adjudicating grievances and monitoring prisoners' punishments (Joudo, 2006a). Addititionally there is an focus on programs which involve induction in order to ease a transition of prisoners into prison environment.
Education is an important factor in life which is one of the cultural determinants. Education also links back to you other factors of life such as proper enclosure, unemployment, poverty and access to healthcare. Therefore, it's important for the government of Australia to teach the Aboriginal community in order to reduce their society in prisons. Indigenous people are marginalized thus making them lead a criminal life in such for better services (Commonwealth of Australia, 2002). The government should put more emphasis in implementing the tips of the Royal Commission in order to reduce deaths of Aboriginal people in guardianship. There is also need for improvement in the federal government police since a few of the inmates pass away in police custody credited to harassment and other factors. Finally in order to eradicate deaths in prisons, the prison facilities should be improved upon as has been talked about in the paper.