Australian Institute of Criminology

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The over-representation of indigenous people in custody in Australia

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 47

John Walker and David McDonald
ISBN 0 642 23323 3 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, August 1995


The rates of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration are compared with those of non indigenous people in juvenile institutions, police lockups and adult prisons. The authors explore the principal reasons for the high levels of imprisonment for indigenous people by linking these statistics with data on offence type, sentencing, and employment and educational background. They also use demographic projections to forecast the number of indigenous people in prison by 2011.