By Don Weatherburn
Despite sweeping reforms through the Keating executive following the 1991 Royal fee into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the speed of Indigenous imprisonment has soared. What has long past improper? In Arresting incarceration, Dr Don Weatherburn charts the occasions that resulted in royal fee. He additionally argues that earlier efforts to minimize the variety of Aboriginal Australians in criminal have didn't competently deal with the underlying motives of Indigenous involvement in violent crime; particularly drug and alcohol abuse, baby overlook and abuse, bad tuition functionality and unemployment. Read more...
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Additional resources for Arresting incarceration : pathways out of Indigenous imprisonment
The absence of statistical records makes it difficult to answer this question. Much of what we know has come to us from the work of Mark Finnane and in what follows I draw heavily on his work. According to Finnane (1997a, p. 4), in the first few decades after European arrival, the prisons of settled parts of [Eastern] Australia were largely filled by the new settlers, not by those who were being colonized. There appear to be several reasons for this. Conflicts between Aboriginal people and settlers in the eastern side of the continent often ended in summary execution or mass murder rather than in arrest and prosecution (Karskens 2010; Rowley 1970).
7 per cent of the total population in South Australia, but accounted for 14 per cent of the state’s prison population (Eggleston 1976). These events challenge the widespread notion that Indigenous alcohol abuse, crime and imprisonment can be explained away as a consequence of colonisation and dispossession. If the rise in Indigenous imprisonment rates had coincided neatly with the spread of colonisation and dispossession, this proposition might have been reasonable. The fact is, however, that rates of Indigenous imprisonment fell in the early part of the twentieth century and did not begin to rise until Aboriginal people lost their toehold in the mainstream economy, obtained unrestricted access to alcohol and became increasingly dependent on welfare.
The Commission risked considerable criticism from those who believed that the deaths in custody had a sinister cause. Indeed, some of the Commission’s own staff saw its research as undermining the work of the Commission: The hostility towards the work of the Criminology Unit reached a climax only a few months after the work started when it became clear that the research showed that Aboriginal persons in either police or prison custody were no more likely to die than were non-Aboriginal people. This general finding was interpreted by some significant elements of the staff as undermining the very foundations of the Royal Commission.
Arresting incarceration : pathways out of Indigenous imprisonment by Don Weatherburn