Task force into Aboriginal kids in custody

Georgie Moore

The cases of Aboriginal children in Victorian detention will be examined by a task force aimed at tackling indigenous over-representation in the justice system.

The Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People Justin Mohamed will lead the task force looking at the treatment of indigenous youths in detention and issues including their access to culture.

It will examine the cases of about 250 Aboriginals in youth justice over 18 months.

"We're going to speak with every Aboriginal child in youth justice detention centres across Victoria," Mr Mohamed told AAP.

"We're really wanting to get the voices of young people into the report."

In 2015/16, 16 per cent of those in the youth justice system identified as Koori despite making up just 1.6 per cent of the general population aged 10 to 18.

Mr Mohamed said it was also important to look at the support Aboriginal children received in the community to help prevent their initial contact with the justice system.

The task force will hear from young people, their communities, police, youth justice workers and the department.

The announcement comes less than a month after a report saying a lack of specialist training for guards and a shortage of Aboriginal liaison officers was eroding detainees' rights to their culture.