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NCJ Number: 168381 Find in a Library
Title: Aboriginal People and the Criminal Justice System: Report 1: Comparison of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Cases Finalized in the Magistrates Court of South Australia, 1995
Author(s): J Wundersitz; C Castle; J Marshall
Corporate Author: South Australia Office of Crime Statistics and Research
Attorney General's Dept
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 65
Sponsoring Agency: South Australia Office of Crime Statistics and Research
Adelaide, SA 5001, South Australia
Publication Number: ISBN 0730860000
Sale Source: South Australia Office of Crime Statistics and Research
Attorney General's Dept
GPO Box 464
Adelaide, SA 5001,
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: Data from the police, courts, correctional services, and Department for Family and Community Services formed the basis of a comparison of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal cases decided by the magistrates' courts of South Australia in 1995.
Abstract: The analysis focused on differences between the two groups with respect to the types of charges, court outcomes, and sentences. The courts handled 38,292 cases in 1995. Of the 30,833 cases for which racial information was available, 11.2 percent involved persons identified by police as Aboriginal, although only 0.97 percent of South Australia's adult population are Aboriginal people. A higher proportion of Aboriginals than non-Aboriginals were involved in cases involving offenses against the person. In contrast, a lower proportion of Aboriginal than non-Aboriginal cases involved drug law offenses, driving offenses, and property offenses. The proportions convicted of the major charge were similar for both groups, but the groups differed within some offense categories. Aboriginal defendants were proportionately more likely to be imprisoned than were non-Aboriginal defendants for most offense categories. The research did not try to determine the causes of the differences. However, the factors contributing to Aboriginal overrepresentation in the criminal justice system are highly complex and probably result from both different offending patterns as well as from differential handling by the system itself. Figures and tables
Main Term(s): Court statistics
Index Term(s): Aborigines; Discrimination; Foreign courts; Foreign sentencing; Sentencing factors; South Australia
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