Incarceration Rates On The Rise Edith Cowan University Australia's Incarceration Rates Increasing

1916 words - 8 pages

The rates of individuals incarcerated in Western Australia is continuing to increase dramatically. Western Australia’s imprisonment rates are growing however the crime rates are falling. In 2014-15 the amount of people incarcerated was 5,401, In 2015-16 this increased to 5,849 and in 2017 this number jumped to 6,776. There are many reasons as to why this is, these reasons range from tougher policies to disadvantages in the community. Firstly, a large portion of prison population in Western Australia that is continuing to grow is the indigenous group. Western Australia has fifteen times more indigenous people in incarceration than any other state. This group presents a large contribution to the reason as to why incarceration rates are still rising. Secondly, the methamphetamine problem that Western Australia is facing is also a major reason that contributes to the rise and lastly, the tougher approaches to crime taken by the police and courts. Western Australia uses prison as the toughest way to punish a criminal and are more willing to imprison than to find an alternative option for an individual, that could have much better effect on the individual and the community itself.
Aboriginals in the prison population of Western Australia makes up a large portion. In Western Australia in 2017, there was a total of 6,776 adult prisoners. Of this 6,776 prisoners, 2,551 were indigenous individuals (Department of corrective services, Final report 2016-17, 2018). This amount in comparison for one group of people is quite significant, when you consider all the groups that would make up the rest of the prison population’s. There have been many studies taken that involve Indigenous Australian’s and crime. It has been noted that Western Australia has fifteen times more indigenous individuals in their population than any other state. This would allow understanding as to why there is such a large number that contribute to the incarcerated population. In a piece written by Wayne Martin in 2015 he discusses the significant number of indigenous in incarceration. Martin states that out of every fifteen, one aboriginal man will spend the night in prison, that aboriginal people are more likely to be remanded in custody than given bail and that an aboriginal individual individual is more likely to plead guilty that go through with a trial. Some of these indigenous individuals don’t want the trouble of a trial or cannot afford the legal aid to support them through a trial and it is a simpler option to do a sentence in custody, unfortunately more times than not the individual is also a repeat offender and is familiar with the system and is not worried about being incarcerated. Aboriginals are at a disadvantage in our society today and this shows in surveys.
The amount of indigenous people in incarceration leads to questions as to why so many of one group is incarcerated. As the general population of prison grows each year so does the indigenous population incarcerated ...


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