The AAU has just completed a pilot project called Justice Reinvestment which ran between Saturday, August 3, and Saturday, December 28.
AAU chairman Aaron ‘ND’ Sawmadal said young African-Australians would be part of this country’s future, and it was important all became well-rounded Australian citizens and did not spend time in prison.
Mr Sawmadal said during the project, people from different lifestyles were brought together and discussions were held as to why young migrants may offend.
The director of policy and Aboriginal services at the Department of the Attorney General Bob Taddeo presented a keynote speech at the end of the project and emphasised that a person did not commit a crime based on ethnicity.
‘Crime exists in relation to the circumstances that surround the way an individual or a community lives,’ he said.
‘It is this difference that is often ignored and which leads people to confuse those circumstances with ethnicity.’
He also talked about how the settlement of new arrivals in WA was always challenging because with migration came issues around housing, jobs, education, training and health.
Mr Sawmadal also explained how the AAU was going to help rehabilitate offenders.
‘The AAU has established a framework to ensure those youth we get in touch with do not go back to prison, by drawing them into other activities, such as skills training, sports and recreation,’ he said.