Royal Commission

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Review of the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody

Steps forward but the gap remains

Deloitte was commissioned by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet to review the implementation status of the 339 recommendations identified in the The Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody.

The Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody (RCIADIC) was conducted between 1987 and 1991. The final report was provided in 1991 and made 339 recommendations across a wide range of policy areas. The largest number of recommendations relate to policing, criminal justice, incarceration and deaths in custody. The RCIADIC also made recommendations relating to health, education and self-determination in recognition of the breadth of factors leading to the high rates of incarceration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly for young people.

The RCIADIC concluded that “Aboriginal people in custody do not die at a greater rate than non-Aboriginal people in custody… what is overwhelmingly different is the rate at which Aboriginal people come into custody, compared with the rate of the general community”. Despite this key finding, in the 27 years since the RCIADIC the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander share of the prison population has doubled, while the mortality rate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in custody has halved. Thus, while there have been positive steps, it is clear that further work is still required to successfully address the disproportionately high, and growing, rates of incarceration among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Deloitte was engaged to review the implementation status of the recommendations. The review has assessed the extent to which governments have implemented the recommendations through the actions they have taken (i.e. outputs), rather than assessing the outcomes of the actions (i.e. impacts on the overarching objectives of the RCIADIC).

Published: October 2018

Review of the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody
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