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Jumping into the system with a bang: Pacific young people and juvenile justice in New South Wales

By M Liddell, M Blake and S Singh


While there are increasing numbers of people from Pacific backgrounds living in Australia, there is limited information available on Pacific people in general or of the characteristics of their young people who are involved in the Juvenile Justice system. This paper is based on exploratory research undertaken with juvenile offenders from the Pacific community in Western Sydney. It showed that Pacific young people are the second most overÔÇÉrepresented group in the juvenile justice system in New South Wales, the first being Indigenous Australians. Those sentenced or on remand make up the highest proportion of violent offenders of any ethnic group in the juvenile justice system, in numbers they are the third largest ethnic group in the system, and are predominantly male. Additionally they come to the attention of the juvenile justice system at a later age than the rest of the population. The implications of this are considerable as their age and offending patterns result in their frequently being tried as adults. This leads to entrenchment in the criminal justice system and more severe sentencing; hence, as a court worker put it, they 'jump into the system with a bang'

Topics: Courts and Sentencing, Studies of Pacific Peoples' Societies, Causes and Prevention of Crime, Pacific young people, offending, Juvenile Justice System, over-representation
Publisher: Crime and Justice Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Queensland)
Year: 2013
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