Posts Categorised: Indigenous issues

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.

An exploration of inter-organisational partnership assessment tools in the context of Australian Aboriginal-mainstream partnerships: a scoping review of the literature

Manly Dinghy/Flickr

“The need for better partnerships between Aboriginal organisations and mainstream agencies demands attention on process and relational elements of these partnerships, and improving partnership functioning through transformative or iterative evaluation procedures. This paper presents the findings of a literature review which examines the usefulness of existing partnership tools to the Australian Aboriginal-mainstream partnership (AMP) context.”

Source: Tsou, C., Haynes, E., Warner, W., Gray, G. and Thompson, S. (2015). BMC Public Health and available from this link.

Race and Policing: An Agenda for Action

Collins Beach, Manly

“Race remains an inescapable dilemma for today’s law enforcement agencies. Police confront issues of race in nearly everything they do, from their own organization’s decisions about hiring and promoting to the external suspicions and hostilities they encounter from citizens and the complaints they receive from ethnic communities about being over- or under-protected. In this paper, the authors present the ideas they believe are the most promising in terms of what police executives might do to alleviate the problems of race in contemporary policing.”

Source: Bayley, D., Davis, M.A., & Davis, R.L. (2015). Harvard Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety and available from this link.

The implementation of Indigenous crime and justice policies and programs in Australia: issues and challenges



“This brief considers issues to do with implementation of policies and programs, and identifies strategies or frameworks that can be adopted to improve the implementation of Indigenous crime and justice policies and programs. It provides an overview of key polices and strategies being implemented in Australia that aim to address Indigenous crime and justice issues, and examines four specific key initiatives to highlight the kinds of issues encountered: the Northern Territory Emergency Response; night or community patrols; Aboriginal sentencing courts; and men’s behaviour change programs. The theoretical and practical factors are brought together in a framework which can be used to evaluate and increase successful implementation across a range of programs.”

Source: Putt, J. & Yamaguchi, J. (2015). Research brief no. 18, Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse and available from this link.

Lost Conversations – Finding New Ways for Black and White Australians to Lead Together

Manly Sunset/Flickr

“The difficulties ‘black’ and ‘white’ Australia have in coming together—to talk, to work, to lead change—are core to our challenge to reconcile, as a country. But if we want to shift the status quo—if we want to lead change on entrenched Indigenous disadvantage in health, education, housing and social equality; to address the disproportionate rates of incarceration and the devaluing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; to achieve treaty, or constitutional recognition; to eliminate racism—then we don’t need another program, or initiative or money thrown at the ‘problem’. ”

Source: Aigner, Geoff & Carnsew, Ross (2014). Social Leadership Australia and available from this link.

Dhumba-nganjin : Sharing stories to promote reconciliation

Manly Beach/Flickr

Dhumba-nganjin means ‘talk, all of us together’ in the Woiwurrung and Boonwurrung languages. It is a very apt title for the Wirrigirri Sharing Stories activity which aimed to give staff in the department a way to talk together about reconciliation by sharing and listening to each other’s stories. Over the past few months, we have done this through having conversations in staff kitchens, meeting rooms and over partitions, taking part in a series of lunchtime yarns with invited Aboriginal guests and by sharing written stories. The written stories are contained in this book.

Source: Victoria. Department of Health and Human Services and available from this link.

Categories: Indigenous issues