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Recently Published: “Addressing the offending-related needs of non-violent Indigenous offenders” by Dr Kelly Richards

 Kelly   

Dr Kelly Richards, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Justice, and a member of QUT’s Crime and Justice Research Centre, recently released a research report on the needs of non-violent Indigenous offenders. The research was funded by the Indigenous Justice Clearinghouse (IJC), which aims to promote discussion and provide policy-relevant information on Indigenous justice issues to governments and those working in the Indigenous justice field (see http://www.indigenousjustice.gov.au/).

The report examines publically-available research literature from North America, Australia and New Zealand on the effectiveness of measures that aim to reduce non-violent offending by Indigenous people. It identifies culturally safe and relevant principles for the design and implementation of measures that have been found to be promising in terms of reducing this category of offending. These principles are important for policy-makers and practitioners to understand, given that many Indigenous people come into contact with the criminal justice system in relation to non-violent offences such as public order and driving offences. The principles set out in the report include: incorporating Indigenous culture, family and community into treatment programs; combining Indigenous approaches with effective Western treatment models such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; and addressing the substance abuse, trauma, and historical and social context often associated with offending by Indigenous people.

In addition to promoting these principles, the report provides an overview of Indigenous people’s contact with the criminal justice system in relation to non-violent crimes, as well as a discussion of specific programs that have been used with this group of offenders.

The report builds on Dr Richards’ previous research on Indigenous justice issues, including:

The report can be accessed at: http://www.indigenousjustice.gov.au/briefs/brief020.pdf

Dr Richards’ other publications, including those on Indigenous and youth justice issues, can be viewed at:  http://eprints.qut.edu.au/view/person/Richards,_Kelly.html

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