Australian Institute of Criminology

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Reintegration of Indigenous prisoners

Research and public policy series no. 90

Matthew Willis and John-Patrick Moore
ISBN 978 1 921185 78 6 ISSN 1326-6004
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, August 2008

Abstract

Indigenous Australians are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. To date, the lack of a national study into Indigenous reoffending has hampered understanding of the problem and implications for policy.

This report presents findings from an analysis of data covering nearly 9,000 adult males incarcerated for violent offences and released from prison over a two-year period. It also presents the key themes that emerged from interviews conducted across a number of Australian states and territories with prisoners, ex-prisoners and stakeholders involved with Indigenous reintegration. What emerges is a comprehensive overview of the extent of reoffending, and the elements affecting successful reintegration and their application for achieving improved reintegration outcomes for Indigenous offenders. Assessing the implementation of Indigenous-specific correctional programs and services, participation in programs, and the barriers to and improvements in programs provide a basis for improving services. Policies and research that focus on changes to correctional programs and services at the community level are required for effective reintegration of prisoners. Culturally relevant delivery and content of programs, program evaluation, and involvement of family and community in reintegration are also issues for further research and policy development.

  • Media release: Reintegration of Indigenous prisoners: new study released
  • Summary report: Reintegration of Indigenous prisoners: key findings
  • Topics: Indigenous justice in Australia