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Indigenous jail rates can be curbed: uni

AAP logoAAP 7/12/2016

Better reintegration plans for indigenous people leaving prison can drastically reduce their reoffending rates, according to new research from James Cook University.

The university has paired with North and West Remote Health and the remote Aboriginal communities of Doomadgee and Mornington Island in Queensland under the federal government's "Breaking the Cycle" initiative.

The research found 70 per cent of offenders were imprisoned on four or more occasions, with domestic violence linked to drug and alcohol use the leading cause at 80 per cent of cases, followed by drink driving.

Associate Professor Glenn Dawes from James Cook University said there's been little to no work done in the past on what actually causes reoffending in indigenous communities.

Prof Dawes said the problem needs to be addressed at a community level.

"We need to look at other ways of breaking the cycle of reoffending, including diversionary programs such as on country bush camps and support for former offenders when they return to their communities," he said.

Prof Dawes hopes the recommendations from the findings can educate and empower all Aboriginal communities to make good life choices.

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