Introduction (100 words)
Although the ongoing efforts to close the inequality gap between Indigenous Australians and non-Indigenous Australians, statistics show that Indigenous Australian youth still face significant disadvantages. This report will discuss the disadvantages Indigenous youth face in education and the criminal justice system by using up-to-date statistics to illustrate this. Additionally, this report will link these disadvantages with unit concepts to further explain why these forms of inequality are occurring and continuing.
This report will refer to key concepts; the definitions are provided here. Indigenous Australian Youth refers to both Aboriginal and Torres State Islander individuals between …show more content…
The population of Indigenous Australians living in Australia is predicted to be approximately 650,000 in 2016, comprising of approximately 2.7% of the total population of Australia (ABS, 2014). Nevertheless, Indigenous Australian youth are consistently over-represented in the CJS, as both offenders and victims (Carpenter and Ball, 2012, 91). A report published by Amnesty International, A Brighter Tomorrow, found that although Indigenous youth only represent 5% of Australia’s population of 10-17 year olds, they make up 59% of their detention. This means that Indigenous youth are 25 times more likely than non-Indigenous youth to be imprisoned (Amnesty International, 2015). These statistics demonstrate disadvantage as more Indigenous youth are in juvenile detention and less are attending school, setting them behind non-Indigenous students academically and thus leading them to lesser opportunities to succeed in life, that is, life chances. The high levels of incarceration for indigenous youth can be explained as an impact from their lottery of birth. Children born into low socio-economic communities where there are high imprisonment rates, like Indigenous Australians, understand imprisonment as ‘normal’ and are likely to adopt the characteristics of others incarcerated. Also, when Indigenous youth are arrested they often have to remain in detention due to the low socio-economic situation of their families. For example, unstable living arrangements and lack of resources restrict families from complying with bail and monitoring conditions (Council of Australian Governments, 2014). As a result of this, Indigenous youth that spend more time in juvenile detention are more likely to continue on as a repeat offender in the adult criminal justice system, leading to less opportunities to be successful in life