By Don Weatherburn
Despite sweeping reforms through the Keating govt following the 1991 Royal fee into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, the speed of Indigenous imprisonment has soared. What has long past flawed? In Arresting incarceration, Dr Don Weatherburn charts the occasions that resulted in royal fee. He additionally argues that prior efforts to minimize the variety of Aboriginal Australians in criminal have didn't effectively handle the underlying explanations of Indigenous involvement in violent crime; particularly drug and alcohol abuse, baby forget and abuse, negative college functionality and unemployment. Read more...
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Extra info for Arresting incarceration : pathways out of Indigenous imprisonment
Aborigines, they said, ‘have not been pro rata, the beneficiaries of what are presumably modified police practices’ (Harding et al. 1995, p. 119). A similar argument was advanced in relation to the use of imprisonment as a sanction of last resort: …imprisonment is evidently still not being used as a sanction of last resort. There are still too many receivals [sic]…the daily average is unacceptably high; too many short sentences are imposed; and the prevalence rates of both imprisonment and re-imprisonment are each extremely high… (Harding et al.
Instead of evaluating the relative importance of various forms of disadvantage — an assessment that would have been of enormous help in focusing the attention of policy makers expected to carry the Commission’s recommendations into effect — it decided to proffer a theory about the root cause of Indigenous disadvantage. The root cause according to the Commission was that: Aboriginal people have for two hundred years been dominated to an extraordinary degree by non-Aboriginal society and that the disadvantage requires an end of domination and an empowerment of Aboriginal people; that control of their lives, of their communities must be returned to Aboriginal hands.
In 1841, it established the country’s only prison specifically for Aborigines, at Rottnest Island. Although the institution was ostensibly constructed for the ‘improvement and instruction’ of Aboriginal people, efforts to persuade prisoners to take up the ‘arts and wants of civilized life’ (Hasluck 1970, p. 81) were a dismal failure. The prison began with six inmates but by 1883 it had 167 (Green & Moon 1997). By the 1890s the number of Indigenous prisoners had expanded to the point where the colony had a number of other institutions that were primarily ‘Aboriginal’ prisons as well.
Arresting incarceration : pathways out of Indigenous imprisonment by Don Weatherburn