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
Date Written: 2006
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
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