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Family Matters No. 75 - September 2006

Selected crime and justice issues for Indigenous families

Mick Dodson and Boyd Hunter

Abstract

Most previous analysis of crime and justice issues in Indigenous families has been conducted using police and court data However, insights into the socioeconomic forces underlying Indigenous interaction with the justice system can only be obtained by interrogating omnibus social surveys like the 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey and the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey that include a reasonably comprehensive set of potential explanatory factors, including potentially important information on family background. This paper explores the relationship of crime and justice issues and the family environment to highlight the need for longitudinal data that explicitly examines the developmental processes for Indigenous children aged less than 15 years of age.

Most previous analysis of crime and justice issues in Indigenous families has been conducted using police and court data However, insights into the socioeconomic forces underlying Indigenous interaction with the justice system can only be obtained by interrogating omnibus social surveys like the 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey and the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey that include a reasonably comprehensive set of potential explanatory factors, including potentially important information on family background. This paper explores the relationship of crime and justice issues and the family environment to highlight the need for longitudinal data that explicitly examines the developmental processes for Indigenous children aged less than 15 years of age.

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