Last week, the federal government helped launch a paper entitled Bridges and Barriers: Addressing Indigenous Incarceration and Health . It was prepared by the National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Committee (NIDAC) and calls for new efforts to improve Indigenous health, and thereby reduce Indigenous incarceration.

The report had some startling findings, and in the context of the ongoing Mulrunji Doomadgee outrage, and the horrendous death in custody in Western Australia of Mr Ward -- a respected young Aboriginal leader who was cooked in the back of a prison van during a four hour trip through the Central Desert -- I had expected media to get at least half as 'excited' about the issue as they do when reports emerge of Aboriginal children being sexually abused.