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Police and Aboriginal Populations

When police use restorative interventions, the strength of their relationships with the community is a key factor in how restorative the experience actually is for the participants. The is particularly true when the community is Aboriginal.

. Tribal jurisdiction over social and minor crimes: The only feasible resolution for institutional racism in Alaskan criminal law enforcement.
Alaska Natives face well-documented impediments to criminal justice and village public safety.' Federal, state, and non-governmental investigative committees consistently report systemic racial injustice. Recommendations universally support localization of governance, either by enabling existing tribal entities to self-help or by extending the mechanisms of the State into rural communities. Despite over forty years of academic consensus, Alaska's racial injustice persists largely unremitted. Failure to adequately address the sources and symptoms of racial disparity is in part a factor of changing political administrations, evolving resource considerations, and competition between state and federal legal regimes. Remedial measures undertaken by the State suffer from chronic underfunding; meanwhile, tribal entities lack the resources or legal authority to engage in self-help. Geographic and cultural barriers exacerbate insufficient resources and obstruct necessary reform. (excerpt)
Johal, Simrita. First Nations Self-Administered Police Forces: The Changing Nature of the Administration of Justice
Delivering appropriate police services to Aboriginal communities across Canada is a difficult task. In the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, a number of proposals and policies were put in place to address Aboriginal peoples' concerns with on-reserve policing procedures. These policies aimed to contribute to the improvement of social order, public security and personal safety in Aboriginal communities. This thesis investigates the evolution and the effectiveness of on-reserve Aboriginal policing options, with a particular focus on four First-Nations self-administered police services. This analysis explores how historical cultural definitions of justice have impacted policing services to on-reserve Aboriginal communities across the country. The goal of the thesis is to explore how the law enforcement component of the justice system is helping Aboriginal peoples to acquire the tools to become self-sufficient and self-governing through the establishment of structures for the management and administration of First Nations police services. Author's abstract.
Anderson, A M. Restorative Justice, the African Philosophy of Ubuntu and the Diversion of Criminal Prosecution
South Africa is in a state of transition; it is a country on the verge of major political, constitutional, social, and economic changes. The paper discusses one such change: the movement towards a process of diversion in the criminal justice system. Diversion is defined as the disposal of suitable criminal cases in a matter other than traditional prosecution. Methods of diversion may include conditional discharges, simplified procedures, or the decriminalization of certain conduct. The paper explores the emerging methods of diversion in South Africa and discusses issues pertinent to diversion for both juvenile and adult offenders. Next, the principles of restorative justice are reviewed and the South African term Ubuntu is discussed. The paper compares principles of Ubuntu to elements of restorative justice and argues that restorative justice could play a major role in the emerging diversion process in South Africa. The paper outlines how the restorative justice model embodies the principles found in Ubantu by illustrating how both encourage consensus, agreement, and reconciliation. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Cunneen, Chris. Community Conferencing and the Fiction of Indigenous Control
The paper analyses the use of community conferencing for young people in various jurisdictions in Australia in the light of its impact in Indigenous communities. It argues that the manner in which these programs have been introduced has ignored Aboriginal rights to self-determination and has grossly simplified Indigenous mechanisms for resolving conflicts. In most jurisdictions, community conferencing has reinforced the role of state police and done little to ensure greater control over police discretionary decision-making. The changes have also been introduced in the context of more punitive law and order policies, including mandatory minimum imprisonment terms and repeat offender legislation for juveniles. The end result is likely to be greater bifurcation of the juvenile justice system along racialised boundaries, with Indigenous youth receiving more punitive outcomes. Author's abstract.
Ross, Jeffrey Ian. Policing Native Americans Off the Rez
Unfortunately, little scholarly research has been conducted on the relationship between Native Americans and municipal police in border towns or metropolitan areas with moderate to large populations of indigenous peoples. In this chapter, I attempt to redress this shortcoming by outlining the problem, reviewing the research, and presenting some potential areas for future investigation. Although in some parts of the United States, reservations abut municipalities (including big city jurisdictions) and natives are just as likely to have contact with park or housing police, the focus of this chapter is on municipal policing in large urban centers. Understandably, policing Native Americans may be more of a problem for small town police forces, the focus of the chapter is on the big city environments. (excerpt)
Murphy, Chris and Linden, Rick and Clairmont, Don. Aboriginal policing in Manitoba: A report to the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission.
In the 1980s, the Manitoba Government initiated an inquiry into the administration of justice and aboriginal people – commonly called the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry. In 1999 the Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission (AJIC) was created to develop an action plan based on the recommendations of that Inquiry. This paper is an examination of aboriginal policing in Manitoba; it is one of a number of discussion papers contracted by the AIJC. The authors look at various issues facing police and the implications for aboriginal policing – for example, human resources, management, and roles and responsibilities of police. They also explore key principles and recommendations established by the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry regarding aboriginal policing. In those principles the Inquiry identified community-based policing as the favored strategy for policing in aboriginal areas.
Gould, Larry A.. Indigenous people policing indigenous people: The potential psychological and cultural costs.
Police officers face significant levels of stress in their work. Gould maintains that Native American police officers, particularly those policing their own people on reservations, face additional stress. This is due to fundamental conflicts between European-based concepts of authority, hierarchy, and ruling entity, and Native American concepts of spiritual compact, tribal significance, and other elements of this customary/traditional worldview. Hence, Gould examines the cultural dissonance experienced by Native American police. Specifically, he researches Navajo police and the competition they face between Navajo traditional law (more akin to contemporary restorative justice models) and European-based law imposed on the Navajo people.
Police use of court alternatives for young persons in New South Wales
from the study by Clare Ringland and Nadine Smith in Crime and Justice Bulletin Through the use of warnings, cautions and conferences instead of court proceedings, the YOA established procedures for dealing efficiently and directly with children who commit certain offences. Previously reported statistics (DAGJ, 2011) suggested that diversionary options for young persons have not been used uniformly and equitably across the State. The purpose of the current study was to measure the level of variation across LACs in the proportion of young persons diverted from court, after adjusting for factors police must or can take into account when considering whether to deal with a young person via a caution or a conference.
Hazlehurst,K.M. "Justice Programs for Aboriginal and Other Indigenous Communities - Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Fiji and Papua New Guinea."
Papers pertaining to legal problems in Australian Aboriginal communities discuss the impact of colonialization on the physical and mental health of Aborigines and the relation of the latter to Aboriginal crime, Aboriginal self-determination in justice matters, Aboriginal legal services, and the impact of incarceration on Aboriginals. Three papers discuss programs to improve police-Aboriginal relationships in various Australian regions. Five papers consider the involvement of indigenous populations in local social control through such entities as village courts and native tribunals, which resolve some disputes through native representatives who reflect local customs in their decisionmaking. The programs described are in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand. A Canadian study critiques a national study of the disproportionate involvement of native people in the criminal justice system. Papers describing community regulation programs in Australia pertain to projects that increase the involvement of Aboriginals in the local administration of criminal justice. Future planning needs and research issues are reviewed. Appendixes contain the enabling legislation for some of the programs described.
Australian Institute of Criminology. Justice Programs for Aboriginal and Other Indigenous Communities.
Papers from the 1985 Australian Aboriginal Criminal Justice Workshop address legal problems in Australian Aboriginal communities; regulation in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Canada, and Australia; the impact of colonialization on Aboriginal crime, self-determination in justice matters, legal services, the impact of incarceration, police relationships, the involvement in local social control in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand; the disproportionate involvement in the Canadian justice system; projects that increase involvement in the administration of criminal justice in Australia, future planning needs and research issues, and enabling legislation of some programs.
Lindsay, Andrew and Marchetti, Elena and Mazerolle, Lorraine. Policing the Plight of Indigenous Australians: Past Conflicts and Present Challenges
Although the challenges of policing multicultural societies are by no means unique to Australia, the challenges are somewhat different in Australia because of the many indigenous Australian communities. More than 70 percent of indigenous peoples reside in remote areas which generates logistical and cultural challenges for the police. Furthermore, the highly centralized nature of the Australia police serves to undermine the effective policing of indigenous communities. The article analyzes the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and show how this inquiry has shaped recent reform efforts within the Australian police force. Trends and policy initiatives that have occurred since the Royal Commission are explored. In particular, the article focuses on police initiatives to implement community policing practices, restorative justice processes, recruitment and training programs, diversion programs, and customary law initiatives. The authors assert that while many of the problems facing Aboriginal communities are outside of the purview of the police, the state of policing in Australia serves to exacerbate historical tensions between the police and indigenous communities. The authors suggest that the Australian police force revisit the recommendations made by the Royal Commission. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Carleton, Rod. 'Building One Fire'- Aboriginal Policing Conference 2000.
In 1990 in Edmonton, Canada, and then again in 1998, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal police officers and agencies met to find common ground and to talk about issues related to Aboriginal policing. In October 2000, another such conference took place in Regina. The 2000 Aboriginal Policing Conference "Building One Fire" was held with a focus on policing matters specific to or predominant within Aboriginal communities: street gangs, community constables, suicide prevention, crime stopper programs, restorative justice, First Nation Band bylaws, police boards, and more. In his article, Rod Carleton- of the Community, Contract and Aboriginal Policing Services-reports on this latest conference.
Grant, Diana R. and Paul, Richard C. and Meyer, Jon'a F.. Peacekeepers turned peacemakers: police as mediators.
We discuss the potential of law enforcement officers to function as mediators in everyday disputes encountered in the field. Examples are drawn from mediation and peacemaking occurring in a variety of contexts, focusing on a description of the Navajo peacemaking program currently in operation, using interviews with Navajo law enforcement professionals who discuss the benefits of officers serving as mediators/peacemakers in the field. Peacemaking is a community-oriented policing tool with the potential to reduce crime and simultaneously improve public perceptions of the police. By enabling citizens and victims to solve their own problems, the police can earn the respect of the communities they serve. Programs such as those discussed here represent a way for police to transform themselves from officials primarily concerned with keeping the peace to those making it. (author's abstract)
Fitzgerald, Jacqueline and Vignaendra, Sumitra. Reoffending Among Young People Cautioned by Police or Who Participated in Youth Justice Conference.
This study investigated the rate of reoffending among young people who were cautioned by New South Wales (NSW) Police or who participated in a youth justice conference for the first time in 1999. Results of this study showed that continued contact with the criminal justice system also occurred among those participating in diversionary alternatives to court; however, this contact seemed less common. This is particularly true for offenders who are older at their first caution or conference, female offenders, and non-Indigenous offenders. Although the study showed a clear difference in the rate of appearance in court for those given a caution versus a conference, this difference should not be taken as an indication of the relative effectiveness of cautions versus conferences in reducing juvenile reoffending. Since 1998, a significant proportion of young offenders in New South Wales (NSW) have been dealt with by warning caution or youth justice conference under the Young Offenders Act of 1997 rather than proceeding through the traditional court system. Utilizing two cohorts of young people, one of which was cautioned by NSW Police in 1999 and the other completing a youth justice conference, this study describes the likelihood and frequency of reoffending, the time it takes to reoffend, and the likelihood of receiving a penalty of imprisonment all within 5 years of the caution or conference. (Abstract courtesy of the National Criminal Justice Reference Service,
Cunningham, Teresa. Pre-court diversion in the Northern Territory: impact on juvenile reoffending.
A juvenile pre-court diversion scheme was introduced in the Northern Territory in 2000. Administered by police, it uses warnings and conferences to divert selected juveniles from the court process. This paper reports on an analysis of Northern Territory police records on 3,597 apprehended juveniles over a 5 year period. Findings showed that the great majority of juveniles (76%) did not reoffend within the first year after their initial diversion or court appearance. However, there were significant differences between juveniles who attended court and those who were diverted, both in terms of risk of reoffending and time to reoffending. Those who were diverted reoffended less than those who attended court and those who went to court reoffended more quickly. Property offenders who attended court were 30 percent more at risk of reoffending than violent offenders. Further work is required to see if the different effects for court versus diversion remain if prior offending history is taken into account. The significant differences in offending related to age, gender, Indigenous status and location confirm the need for specific responses to particular groups of juveniles. (author's abstract)

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