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Indigenous Participation in Sentencing Young Offenders: Findings from an Evaluation of the Children's Koori Court of Victoria

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, The
Volume 43 Issue 3 (2010)

Abstract: This article reports on some of the major findings of the evaluation of the Children's Koori Court of Victoria - the first legislated effort to involve the Indigenous community in the sentencing of young people as a strategy of reducing their overrepresentation in the juvenile justice system. This court is presided over by a Magistrate sitting with two Koori Elders or Respected Persons in what is solely a sentencing court. The outcome component of the evaluation focussed on the 62 Koori defendants who appeared before the court in the first two years of its operation (2005-07) and who were tracked for between 6 and 30 months. The evaluation found low rates of failure-to-appear and breaches of court orders. Just under 60 per cent subsequently reappeared in a court and had their charges proven. In most cases, however, the principal re-offence was either less serious or no more serious than the one that had brought them before the Children's Koori Court. This recidivism rate was within the realm of what was expected given the highly disadvantaged background of the defendants and their established offending histories. Significant reductions in Indigenous juvenile crime will require major structural change.

To cite this article: Borowski, Allan. Indigenous Participation in Sentencing Young Offenders: Findings from an Evaluation of the Children's Koori Court of Victoria [online]. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, The, Vol. 43, No. 3, 2010: 465-484. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=566461940834559;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 0004-8658. [cited 28 May 16].

Personal Author: Borowski, Allan; Source: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, The, Vol. 43, No. 3, 2010: 465-484 Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 0004-8658 Subject: Australian Bureau of Statistics; Recidivism; Sentences (Criminal procedure); Children, Aboriginal Australian; Crime; Aboriginal Australians--Legal status, laws, etc.; Statistics; Victoria. Children's Court; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) School of Social Work and Social Policy, La Trobe University, Bundoora, Victoria 3086, Australia

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection