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The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR), in partnership with the Aboriginal Services Unit (ASU) at the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, are conducting an evaluation of the impact of the Walama List pilot on sentencing and reoffending outcomes.
The Walama List pilot commenced in February 2022 as an alternative sentencing procedure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have matters currently before the NSW District Criminal Court at Sydney Downing Centre. The Walama List provides a therapeutic and holistic approach to sentencing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. The list aims to reduce reoffending, keep communities safe, address overrepresentation and increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s participation and confidence in the NSW criminal justice system by:
The Walama List evaluation will provide the necessary evidence to inform future decisions regarding the establishment of a Walama Court (i.e., a legislated, permanent court for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people).
The evaluation uses a two-armed randomised controlled trial to measure the impacts of the Walama List on sentencing and reoffending. The Walama List has a limited number of places, and thus eligible and consenting individuals are randomised with equal probability, to the Walama List or to the regular list of the NSW District Criminal Court for sentencing. This will enable BOCSAR to measure how successful the pilot is in:
The outcome evaluation commenced in December 2022 and will be completed in March 2031. It will be supplemented with a qualitative evaluation to assess the implementation of the pilot and identify other benefits to participants and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
District Court of New South Wales. (2021). Practice Note: Walama List Sentencing Procedure Draft 20, May 2021.
18 May 2023
We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the First Nations Peoples of NSW and pay our respects to Elders past, present, and future.
Informed by lessons of the past, Department of Communities and Justice is improving how we work with Aboriginal people and communities. We listen and learn from the knowledge, strength and resilience of Stolen Generations Survivors, Aboriginal Elders and Aboriginal communities.
You can access our apology to the Stolen Generations.