Intersections of indigenous status, sex and age in sentencing decisions in the New South Wales Children's court

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Abstract

The current study uses sentencing data from the New South Wales Children's Court to examine the impact of Indigenous status, age and sex on two outcomes: custodial status at sentence and the imposition of a detention order. Indigenous youth aged 10-16 were more likely to be in custody at sentence net of controls, although the major determinants of custody status were the criminal history of the offender as well as the nature of the offences that had been committed. Age and sex but not Indigenous status were related to the imposition of a detention order, with 17- to 21-year-old males having the highest odds of imprisonment. It is argued that while disparities in justice processing are primarily determined by differences in offending history and profile, some evidence was observed to indicate these differences may in part be a cumulative phenomenon, with early decisions indirectly leading to the later over-representation of Indigenous individuals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-112
Number of pages23
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
Volume49
Issue number1
Early online date2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016

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