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Perceptions of Justice: Issues in Indigenous and Community Empowerment

NCJ Number
K M Hazlehurst
Date Published
302 pages
Eleven papers examine the effectiveness of the criminal justice systems in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia in rendering justice for Aboriginal people, with attention to the involvement of communities in justice decisions and justice delivery.
An examination of systemic discrimination and over-imprisonment of Aboriginal people in Canada concludes that "tinkering" with the system will not work; what is required is justice reform that recognizes the right of Aboriginal communities to self-government and autonomy. A second paper examines the general belief among researchers that whatever the demographic, social, and economic conditions among Aboriginal people, their criminality has been due to the marginalization of Aboriginal societies following colonization. Their societies have been undermined because control of their own destinies has been removed from them. In a third paper, "Moral Panic and Juvenile Justice in Queensland" (Australia), the author expresses concern about the limited life opportunities of working class youth -- many of them indigenous or of immigrant background -- on welfare or in skills-training programs and the way these influence "attitudes and orientations to their immediate environment." Another paper writes about the "profound silence" that has surrounded the impact of the Australian criminal justice system on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women; and the fifth study reports on a study of race, gender, and the sentencing process in New Zealand. Other papers address lessons from problem-oriented policing in British Columbia (Canada), native policing in Canada, urban policing and Aboriginal social health, law-and-order politics in New Zealand (1984-93), and a cross- cultural theory of Aboriginal criminality. 6 tables, 7 figures, chapter references, and a subject index