Indigenous young people and the NSW Children’s Court: Magistrates Perceptions of the Court’s Criminal Jurisdiction

What do Children’s Court magistrates perceive as the main challenges in responding to Indigenous young people who break the law? This question has recently been examined by Crime and Justice Research Centre (CJRC) researcher Dr Kelly Richards, with colleagues Associate Professor Lorana Bartels (University of Canberra) and Dr Jane Bolitho (University of New South Wales). As part of Dr Bolitho’s et al’s Australian Research Council-funded study (the ‘National Assessment of Australia’s Children’s Courts), all Children’s Court magistrates in New South Wales were interviewed about a range of relevant issues, including the ongoing problems faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people who come into contact with the criminal justice system. The over-representation of Indigenous young people in the justice system is an urgent social justice issue, with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reporting that Indigenous young people are 24 times as likely to be in youth detention as non-Indigenous young people (see http://aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129557387). Read more