Article type: Original Research

PUBLISHED 1 December 1978

Volume 3 Issue 3-4

Aboriginal juveniles in custody — New community and institutional approaches

Elizabeth Sommerlad


1 Centre for Continuing Education, Canberra, Australian National University

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The disproportionate number of Aboriginal juveniles in state corrective institutions is a matter of serious concern to Aboriginals, policy-makers and administrators alike. Although it is difficult to obtain accurate statistical information in this area, and hence to fully comprehend the nature and complexity of the problem, what data we do have suggest that juvenile delinquency and ensuing institutionalisation is reaching crisis proportions. It would seem that in comparison with the non-Aboriginal population, Aboriginal juveniles are more likely to be charged with an offence, to be convicted, and to be committed to a corrective institution. Moreover, recidivism rates for Aboriginal juveniles are significantly higher than for non-Aboriginals and substantial numbers do not have homes to go to on release and are transferred to institutions or permanent foster care as wards of the State.

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