Possessing a strong cultural identity has been shown to protect against mental health symptoms and buffer distress prompted by discrimination. However, no research to date has explored the protective influences of cultural identity and cultural engagement on violent offending. This paper investigates the relationships between cultural identity/engagement and violent recidivism for a cohort of Australian Indigenous people in custody.
For Australian Indigenous people in custody, ‘cultural engagement’ was significantly associated with non-recidivism. The observed protective impact of cultural engagement is a novel finding in a correctional context. Whereas identity alone did not buffer recidivism directly, it may have had an indirect influence given its relationship with cultural engagement. The findings of the study emphasize the importance of culture for Indigenous people
The authors acknowledge the support of the Koori Justice Unit.
© The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.