Conflict, Politics and Crime: Aboriginal Communities and the Police
Conflict, Politics and Crime: Aboriginal Communities and the Police, 2001, Sydney: Allen and Unwin
Posted: 5 Jan 2013
Date Written: 2001
Aboriginal people are grossly over-represented in Australia's courts and prisons. Despite numerous inquiries, State and Federal, and the considerable funds spent trying to understand this phenomenon, nothing has changed. Indigenous people continue to be apprehended, sentenced, incarcerated and to die in prison. One part of this inexorable process is the behaviour of the police. Drawing on research from across Australia, Chris Cunneen focuses on how police and Aboriginal people interact in urban and rural environments. He explores police history and police culture, the nature of Aboriginal offending and the prevalence of over-policing, the use of police discretion, the particular circumstances of Aboriginal youth and Aboriginal women, the experience of community policing and the key police responses to Aboriginal issues. He traces the pressures on both sides of the equation brought by new political demands. In exploring these issues, the author argues that changing the nature of contemporary relations between Aboriginal people and the police is key to altering Aboriginal over-representation in the criminal justice system, and a step towards the advancement of human rights.
Keywords: indigenous, over-policing, over-representation, criminal justice system, human rights
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