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NCJ Number: 136811 Find in a Library
Title: Life in a Societal No-Man's Land: Aboriginal Crime in Central Australia
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:36  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1992)  Pages:5-19
Author(s): H J Schneider
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 15
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This 1986-87 empirical study of Aboriginal criminality in Central Australia includes an analysis of cultural conflict as a factor in the high crime rate among Aborigines.
Abstract: The author conducted a research expedition to Australia's Northern Territories with a focus on three Aboriginal reserves in Central Australia. Controlled, systematic observations were performed in the three reserves. Interviews were conducted with 30 Aborigines and 15 white police officers and teachers. Indepth interviews were held with 10 prison wardens and 25 imprisoned Aborigines. This study reports that the Aboriginal crime rate is high across the whole Australian continent. The numbers of homicides and assaults that involve bodily harm on the reserves are 10 and 5 times above the Australian average, respectively. Much of the criminality of the Aborigines results from the influence of the dominant white culture. Aborigines have abandoned their traditional tribal lifestyle without adopting the white man's models. They lack the will and energy needed to integrate. The majority of whites who interact regularly with Aborigines consider them inferior. The loss of their own cultural identity and their inability to forge self-esteem under the values of the dominant culture has undermined individual self-esteem and community pride. Aborigines, however, continue to socialize their children in the traditional manner, that is, with very little discipline or education in the values and behaviors of the dominant white culture. The white man's criminal justice system is not acceptable to Aborigines as a way to resolve disputes or injuries. This study generally recommends the merger of the two cultures and the implementation of tribal justice as a means of reconciliation and diversion from formal criminal proceedings. 27 references
Main Term(s): Aborigines
Index Term(s): Australia; Crime patterns; Cultural influences; Racial discrimination
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