Crime and Indigenous People
Broadhurst, R.G. 2002, ‘Crime and Indigenous People’, in Graycar, A. and P. Grabosky, [Eds.], Handbook of Australian Criminology, Cambridge University Press: Melbourne, pp 256-280
24 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2012 Last revised: 25 Apr 2013
Date Written: September 1, 2002
Theories of crime applied to explain the over-representation of Indigenous people in the penal system are re-examined by three approaches to Indigenous – governmental relations in post-colonial Australia: Aboriginalism, Welfare Colonialism, and Institutionalism. The colonisation of ‘wild’ country, especially in ‘frontier’ states, and relentless ‘civilising’ has continued to imperil and restructure the Indigenous domain. Modernisation disrupts Indigenous society, nurtures cultural resistance, provokes pathologies in the survivors and conflict at cross-borders. High levels of culture-conflict and stress are reflected in the extremes found in the penal system’s response. Indigenous people’s encounter with post-colonial governments is shaped by the problematic deployment of police and penal institutions in managing ‘self-determination’ and has inspired both new (restorative) and old ‘recovered’ (preventive detention) forms of penal sanction – punishments that exemplify the ambivalence of Indigenous citizenship and the problems of regulating social order in post-colonial settler states.
Keywords: Aborigines, crime, Indigenous justice, post-colonial, racism
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