Posts Categorised: Indigenous issues

Policing the ‘Middle of Nowhere’: Officer Working Strategies in Isolated Communities

Early morning light on North Head/M. Hardy

“Thousands of isolated communities across the globe are policed by officers who confront the challenges posed by distinctive geographic and environmental conditions, and many serve in places with a high proportion of economically and politically marginalized peoples in the population. This study reports the results of a survey soliciting the perceptions of 827 Canadian officers working in Indigenous communities; 260 of whom were deployed in isolated locations.”

Source: Ruddell, R., & Jones, N. A. (2018). Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice and available from this link (subscription journal).

Global systematic review of Indigenous community-led legal interventions to control alcohol


“The national and subnational governments of most developed nations have adopted cost-effective regulatory and legislative controls over alcohol supply and consumption with great success. However, there has been a lack of scrutiny of the effectiveness and appropriateness of these laws in shaping the health-related behaviours of Indigenous communities, who disproportionately experience alcohol-related harm. Further, such controls imposed unilaterally without Indigenous consultation have often been discriminatory and harmful in practice.”

Source: Muhunthan, J. (2017). BMJ Open and available from this link (open access).

Contact is a stronger predictor of attitudes toward police than race: a state-of-the-art review

Blue Groper/Flickr

“This scoping review thoroughly scanned research on race, contacts with police and attitudes toward police. An exploratory meta-analysis then assessed the strength of their associations and interaction in Canada and the USA. Key knowledge gaps and specific future research needs, synthetic and primary, were identified. The paper aims to discuss these issues.”

Source: Alberton, A. & Gorey, K. (2018). Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, and available from this link (subscription journal).

Indigenous Australians And The Criminal Justice System

Sunset from North Head/E. Grimm

“This paper provides an overview of national statistics pertaining to the high level of incarceration of Indigenous Australians and the socioeconomic background to that phenomenon. The paper goes on to consider how to address this issues by applying the traditional criminal justice principles of equal justice, personal responsibility, and fair punishment. National averages are useful for identifying broad trends. However, these trends are not consistent across jurisdictions and communities and the below should be read with that in mind.”

Source: Bushnell, A. (2017). Institute of Public Affairs  and available from this link (open access).

Evaluating Indigenous programs: a toolkit for change



“Analysis of 49 Indigenous program evaluation reports [including law enforcement], found only three used rigorous methodology. Overall, the evaluations were characterised by a lack of data and the absence of a control group, as well as an overreliance on anecdotal evidence. Adopting a co-accountability approach to evaluation will ensure that both the government agency funding the program and the program provider delivering the program are held accountable for results. An overarching evaluation framework could assist with the different levels of outcomes expected over the life of the program and the various indicators needed to measure whether the program is meeting its objectives. Feedback loops and a process to escalate any concerns will help to ensure government and program providers keep each other honest and lessons are learnt.”

Source: Hudson, S. (2017). Centre for Independent Studies and available from this link (open access).

Bringing Them Home 20 years on: an action plan for healing



“While this report might primarily detail the response from government to the Bringing Them Home report, it is not a report to government about government. This is a report for everyone, and outlines as a whole how we can actively support healing for Stolen Generations and their descendants. There needs to be commitment to making change. We all have a responsibility to do this together.”

Source: Healing Foundation and available form this link (open access).

Youth justice in Australia 2015–16

Manly Beach surfing/Flickr

“There were about 5,500 young people (aged 10 and older) under youth justice supervision in Australia on an average day in 2015–16, due to their involvement, or alleged involvement, in crime. This number has decreased by 21% over the 5 years to 2015–16. Around 4 in 5 (82%) young people under supervision on an average day were male. Most (84%) young people were supervised in the community and the remainder were in detention. Indigenous young people continued to be over-represented in the youth justice system: young Indigenous people were 17 times as likely as non-Indigenous young people to be under supervision on an average day.”

Source: AIHW (2017) and available from this link (open access).

Indigenous Imprisonment Discussion Paper

Manly at dusk/Flickr

“The data clearly reflects that Indigenous imprisonment rates are catastrophically high and continue to increase, year by year. However, is a lack of available, comprehensive and consistent data impeding rational policy responses to this crisis? Some of Australia’s most esteemed statisticians and forensic analysts discuss the nature of the existing data and the future direction needed.”

Source: Law Council of Australia and available from this link.