Racism, Discrimination and the Over-Representation of Indigenous People in the Criminal Justice System: Some Conceptual and Explanatory Issues

Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 17(3), 329-346 (2006)

21 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2013

See all articles by Chris Cunneen

Chris Cunneen

Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research,University of Technology Sydney; University of New South Wales, School of Social Sciences; James Cook University - Cairns Campus

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

This article provides an analysis of various explanations of the over-represenation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system. Some authors have argued that the primary cause of over-representation is widespread criminality among Indigenous peoples, rather than what is sometimes termed 'systemic bias' in the criminal justice system. The present article interrogates the conceptual issues around systemic bias, racial discrimination and institutional racism, followed by a critique of various arguments concerning Indigenous over-representation. The author argues for a more nuanced appreciation of over-representation and the centrality of such issues as policing, racial discrimination and the long term affects of colonisation in explaining the over-representation of Indigenous people in criminal justice systems.

Keywords: Criminology, Indigenous peoples, Race Discrimination, Aboriginal Australians, Criminal Justice System

Suggested Citation

Cunneen, Chris, Racism, Discrimination and the Over-Representation of Indigenous People in the Criminal Justice System: Some Conceptual and Explanatory Issues (2006). Current Issues in Criminal Justice, 17(3), 329-346 (2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2298241 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2298241

Chris Cunneen (Contact Author)

Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research,University of Technology Sydney ( email )

15 Broadway, Ultimo
PO Box 123
Sydney, NSW 2007
Australia

University of New South Wales, School of Social Sciences ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

James Cook University - Cairns Campus ( email )

PO Box 6811
Cairns, Queensland 4870
Australia

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