Meet the Woman Who Monitors the Safety of Indigenous People Taken into Custody
We go on nightshift with the woman responsible for checking in on every single Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander taken into custody within Victoria and Tasmania.
Client Service Officers (CSOs) at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service are responsible for checking in on the wellbeing of every Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander taken into custody within Victoria and Tasmania. Established in response to Australia's deplorable record of Indigenous incarceration, the service is a vital measure in the prevention of Aboriginal deaths in custody. However, after hours, there is only ever one CSO on duty.
VICE Australia spent a night shift with Elva, a 28-year-old CSO and proud Indigenous woman. Over the course of 12 hours, we watched Elva make dozens of calls to police stations in order to carry out her crucial role. It's a heavy responsibility but Elva's sense of justice, and the compassion she feels for her people, keep her committed to the task.
This documentary is part three of Over Represented, our series on Indigenous incarceration. For parts one and two, check out Briggs - Live at Juvie and Darwin Night Patrol. You can also check out The Incarceration Issue, a special edition from VICE.
Made with the cooperation of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service