Promising interventions for reducing Indigenous juvenile offending

Richards, Kelly, Rosevear, L., & Gilbert, R. (2011) Promising interventions for reducing Indigenous juvenile offending. Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, Brief no. 10. Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse, Sydney.

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Indigenous juveniles (those aged 10 to 16 years in Queensland and 10 to 17 years in all other jurisdictions) are over-represented at all stages of the criminal justice system, and their over-representation becomes more pronounced at the most severe end of the system (ie in detention). Recent figures show that Indigenous juveniles are 24 times as likely to be detained in a juvenile correctional facility as non-Indigenous juveniles (Richards & Lyneham 2010). A variety of explanations for this over-representation have been proposed, including: • lack of access or disparate access to diversionary programs (Allard et al. 2010; Cunneen 2008; Snowball 2008); • systemic discrimination against Indigenous juveniles (eg police bias against Indigenous juveniles) (Cunneen 2008; Kenny & Lennings 2007); • inadequate resourcing of Aboriginal legal services (Cunneen & Schwartz 2008); and • genuinely higher levels of offending by Indigenous juveniles (Kenny & Lennings 2007; Weatherburn et al. 2003).

A range of measures (including diversion and juvenile conferencing programs) has recently been implemented to reduce the over-representation of Indigenous juveniles in detention, and minimise the contact of juveniles with the formal criminal justice system. Diversionary measures can only have a limited impact, however, and reducing offending and reoffending have been identified as critical factors to address if the over-representation of Indigenous juveniles is to be reduced (Allard et al. 2010; Weatherburn et al. 2003).

While acknowledging that other measures designed to reduce the over-representation of Indigenous juveniles are important, this paper reviews the evidence on policies and programs that reduce offending by Indigenous juveniles in Australia. Where relevant, research from comparable jurisdictions, such as New Zealand and Canada, is also discussed.

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ID Code: 65003
Item Type: Report
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 State of New South Wales through the Department of Justice and Attorney General.
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2013 04:19
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2013 01:10

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