Authors: Mick Gooda, QLD
Event: 2012 TheMHS Conference
Subject: INDIGENOUS MENTAL HEALTH, HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION, SOCIAL JUSTICE
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: In this paper, Commissioner Gooda will talk about the citizenship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the criminal justice system in terms of the human rights that citizenship entails. He will discuss recent revelations regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cognitive disabilities in the WA and NT criminal justice systems, and the rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners with mental illness. These revelations highlight the urgency of the need for cultural competence in the criminal justice and mental health processes and for culturally appropriate alternatives to imprisonment. A human rights framework, including the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, can provide useful guidance in looking at practical solutions to some of the citizenship and ultimately human rights concerns in this context.