The Federal Government has announced a “justice reinvestment” for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

The government has outlined its backing for community-led, place-based approaches to justice, as part of its $81.5 million First Nations Justice package. 

It aims to assist 15 communities in designing and developing early-stage justice reinvestment strategies before the national grant round opens later this year. 

The communities involved include Townsville, Minjerribah, Mornington Island, Cherbourg, Doomadgee, Katherine, Darwin, Groote Eylandt, Lajamanu, Circular Head, Fadden, Newman, Port Augusta, Ngarrindjeri, and a broader regional approach in South Australia.

The scheme seeks to invest in early intervention and prevention programs for at-risk adults and young people. 

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney says the government has seen the effectiveness of justice reinvestment in areas like Bourke, NSW, in reducing crime and keeping people out of custody. 

“We are absolutely committed to working in partnership with First Nations communities across the country to keep our people out of prison and youth detention centres. We want to make sure young First Nations people have a better future and can reach their full potential,” she said.

This initiative, involving partnerships with Ninti One, the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, and the Justice Reinvestment Network Australia, aims to ensure that First Nations knowledge is central to the support provided during the national endeavour.