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Aborigines in the criminal justice system

  1. Amnesty International 1993, Australia: A Criminal Justice System Weighted Against Aboriginal People, (January 1993), Amnesty International Australian Section, Sydney, NSW.

    Hard-hitting report on the topic. Criticises most aspects of criminal justice system vis-a-vis Aboriginal people, including police and prison custody rates and Aboriginal/police relations. Uses RCIADIC data on deaths in custody and custody.

  2. Broadhurst, R., Ferrante, A. et al. 1994, Aboriginal Contact with the Criminal Justice System in Western Australia: A Statistical Profile 1994, (December), Crime Research Centre, The University of Western Australia, Aboriginal Affairs Department, Perth.

    This report represents the Western Australian Government's commitment to report openly and with accountability on the Government's progress in the implementation of the Recommendations of the RCIADIC. Apart from reporting, the document is a thorough examination of the existing data in Western Australia to identify trends in the justice system and its impact on Aboriginal people. Information and statistics are provided on the RCIADIC; the criminal justice system; Aboriginal crime victims; police activity and Aborigines; Aborigines in the Courts; imprisoned Aborigines (including juveniles, imprisonment rates and trends, police lockups and deaths in custody); and Aborigines and community-based corrections.

  3. Duckworth, A.M.E., Foley-Jones, C.R., Lowe, P. and Maller, M. 1982, 'Imprisonment of Aborigines in North Western Australia', Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, vol. 15, pp. 26-46.

    This paper examines the imprisonment of Aborigines in a traditionally oriented area of Australia, in terms of the extent to which some of the commonly-expressed aims of imprisonment are achieved, i.e. specific and general deterrence and punishment. It also looks at the kind of daily prison activities in which Aboriginal offenders are interested. Recommendations are made for action and further research.

  4. Harding, R.W., Broadhurst, R., Ferrante, A. and Loh, N. 1995, Aboriginal Contact with the Criminal Justice System and the Impact of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, The Hawkins Press, Sydney.

    This book is an enhanced and updated version of a report which the Crime Research Centre at the University of Western Australia undertook to produce for the Aboriginal Affairs Department as part of the State Government's response to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The report is a thorough examination of the existing data in Western Australia to identify trends in the justice system and its impact on Aboriginal people. The report also uses comparative data internationally and gives emphasis to a number of Government priority issues in Aboriginal affairs in Western Australia. It also contains many significant analyses which did not appear in the original report, making it apparent that implementation of the Royal Commission's recommendations has been piecemeal and fragmented. The authors believe the report has become the single most thorough analysis yet published in Australia of the interface between the Royal Commission's recommendations and the slowly changing face of criminal justice administration as it impacts upon Aborigines.

  5. Paxman, M. and Corbett, H. 1994, 'Listen to Us: Aboriginal Women and the White Law', Criminology Australia, vol. 5, no. 3, Jan/Feb, pp. 2-6.

    The findings of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (1991) and the Inquiry into Racist Violence (1991) clearly indicate that police attitudes towards Aboriginal people have not improved and in fact have deteriorated. Commonwealth and State Governments have shown themselves to lack commitment in addressing the issue of Aboriginal deaths in custody and have still not fully implemented the urgent recommendations. Although much has been written about the impact of the Australian criminal justice system on Aboriginal men, few people have considered its impact on Aboriginal women. This article highlights the lack of faith Aboriginal women have in the criminal justice system, not to mention their alarming over-representation in the prison population. Traditionally, women in Aboriginal culture have a status comparable with and equal to men. Too often only Aboriginal men are consulted by governments. Aboriginal women have an important contribution to make and need to be included in decision making processes.

  6. Paxman, Marina. 1993, 'Aborigines and the Criminal Justice System: Women and Children First!', Alternative Law Journal, vol. 18, no. 4, August, pp. 153-7.

    The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody has made very little difference to institutionalised discrimination against Aboriginal Australians, especially women and children. This article reports that the level of human rights abuses in Australia is not improving and that dramatic increases in the number of Aboriginal prisoners in Australia during the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was a contributing factor to our deaths in custody. The article states the statistics involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander deaths in custody and the percentages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander prisoners, compared to the non-indigenous population. It looks at policing, responses to the RCIADIC and focuses particularly on the position of Aboriginal women and children.

  7. Toussaint, S. 1993, 'Aboriginal Australia and Natural Justice', Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 28, no. 4, November, pp. 308-15.

    Aboriginal men and women continue to be grossly over-represented in police and prison custodial settings. In 1987 the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody was established primarily because deaths in custody were far too common. Commission findings, including over 300 recommendations, were finally publicly released in 1991. In a number of significant ways, it was revealed that the 'scene had been set' for premature death both inside and outside custody. In part that 'scene had been set' because of the ongoing consequences of colonisation and the legal doctrine euphemistically known as 'natural justice'. 'Natural justice' implies, rather than assures, equality for all before the law. Such fundamental inequality found, and continues to find, intense and tragic expression in high levels of incarceration and deaths in custody.

  8. Western Australia. Aboriginal Affairs Department. 1995, Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: Volume 2: Aboriginal Contact with the Criminal Justice System in Western Australia: A Statistical Profile 1995, (December), Aboriginal Affairs Department, Perth.

    This report represents the Western Australian Government's commitment to report openly and with accountability on the Government's progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The report is a thorough examination of the existing data in Western Australia to identify trends in the justice system and its impact on Aboriginal people. The report also uses comparative data internationally and gives emphasis to a number of Government priority issues in Aboriginal affairs in Western Australia. Despite a drop in the number of deaths in custody in the State, WA still has the highest proportion of Aboriginal people in the corrective system of any other State/Territory.

  9. Western Australia. Aboriginal Affairs Department and the Crime Research Centre. 1994, Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody: Volume 2: Aboriginal Contact with the Criminal Justice System in Western Australia: A Statistical Profile 1994, (December), Aboriginal Affairs Department and the Crime Research Centre, University of Western Australia, Perth.

    This report represents the Western Australian Government's commitment to report openly and with accountability on the Government's progress in the implementation of the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. The report was commissioned by the Aboriginal Affairs Department and produced by the University of Western Australia Crime Research Centre. The report is a thorough examination of the existing data in Western Australia to identify trends in the justice system and its impact on Aboriginal people. The report also uses comparative data internationally and gives emphasis to a number of Government priority issues in Aboriginal affairs in Western Australia.

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