Aboriginal youth and the criminal justice system
The Injustice of Justice?
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year: 1990
Online Publication Date:February 2012
Subjects: Law: general interest
This book is a study of Aboriginal youth and their involvement with the criminal justice system. The research owes its origins to the concern of Aborigines with the plight of their young people. Aboriginal community leaders asked us as researchers to find out ‘why our kids are always in trouble’. They sought behavioural explanations for the high reported crime rates amongst Aboriginal youth. Another initiative came from Aboriginal women, the mothers and aunts of those so frequently detained.
Our study utilises the expertise derived from more than one discipline. It is an examination of the operation of the criminal process, rather than an analysis of patterns of actual offending behaviour. This was determined by the methodology employed: we utilised official statistics on juvenile offending, which cannot reveal more than the process whereby individuals and groups are selected for formal treatment by the system. Our data are unique in detail and comprehensiveness, enabling a more thorough and far-reaching analysis of the juvenile justice process than has been possible elsewhere.
We set out, without any particular doctrinal or political preconceptions, to examine the real degree of involvement of Aboriginal youths in the criminal justice system. Our methodology enabled us to go further and to seek explanations for the dramatic figures which our research revealed. The findings in this book speak for themselves and carry a message for all those concerned with the delivery of social justice to minority groups.