The economic and social factors underpinning Indigenous contact with the justice system: Results from the 2002 NATSISS survey


This study uses the 2002 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS) to examine the economic and social factors that underpin Indigenous contact with the criminal justice system. The analysis shows that the Indigenous respondents to the NATSISS were far more likely to have been charged with, or imprisoned for, an offence if they abused drugs or alcohol, failed to complete Year 12 or were unemployed. Participating in the Commonwealth Development Employment Scheme appears to reduce the risk of being charged (compared with being unemployed). Other factors that increase the risk of being charged or imprisoned include: experiencing financial stress, living in a crowded household and being a member of the ‘stolen generation’.

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