Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda has expressed concern about mentally ill people being kept in jail after they have been ruled unfit to stand trial.

Four mentally disabled men are being kept in prison near Alice Springs, even though they have not been convicted of a crime.

Mr Gooda says there needs to be appropriate facilities and support outside of the prison system.

“People get caught up in a system where they are unfit to plead and therefore get immersed in things like the Mental Health Act,” he said.

“Because there are no appropriate places outside jail that is where they end up.

“There has to be support on the outside of prison systems to cope with this, but also there has to be some law reform around the Mental Health Act.” (ABC News 26/06/12)

[1] ‘Prisoners in Australia’, ABS 2007; ‘Population Distribution, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’,

Read more: http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/law/aboriginal-prison-rates.html#ixzz1yxOpa1Hg