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Criminology Research Paper Example

Criminology Research Paper Example

Criminology Research Proposal Topics

  • Can the decriminalization of prostitution be effective? A meta-review of literature from around the world.
  • Do serial killer partners always have a dominant personality and a submissive personality?
  • Does the classical model of crime have any relevance to contemporary understandings of criminality?  A review of the literature.
  • Have marginalized white populations been criminalized? A review of recent literature from the UK and USA.
  • How can theoretical models of social control inform policing in the 21st century? A review of current literature.
  • How did New Labour’s interest in tackling the problem of social exclusion translate into policies for crime and policing? A critical analysis of recent policy.
  • How does the media portray the character of Dexter as a serial killer? Is this a way of idealizing who a serial killer is?
  • How has modern technology and criminology made it more difficult for serial killers to remain at large?
  • Is behavioral analysis an effective way to predict the characteristics of an individual serial killer?
  • Is poverty a crime? The extent to which people on low income are marginalized and criminalized. A qualitative study amongst UK academics and people living in urban poverty.
  • Is there a link between poverty, location and crime? A comparative, quantitative study of one urban and one rural location with high levels of poverty in the UK, investigating links with levels of reported crime.
  • What are some of the factors that contribute to the chances that a specific individual will become a serial killer?
  • What are some of the trademarks of female serial killers? Criminology Research Paper Example
  •  What is the difference between a mass murderer and a serial killer in modern culture?
  • Who is the person most likely to be Jack the Ripper?

 Criminology Research Paper Example

Criminology Research Paper Example
Criminology Research Paper Example

Court Response towards over-representation of Indigenous Offenders

The over-representation of the Indigenous people in the Australia criminal justice system, is not a strange fact. Nevertheless, it is not often at the lead of public debate when it comes to the subject of indigenous over-representation, unless it involves terrible events before such subject is being put on the headlines of newspapers.

A research done by Bond & Jeffries, (2009) had found that Indigenous offenders and non-Indigenous offenders will both most likely be given a sentence of imprisonment when standing before a court with both comparable situations; but when the sentence length has been decided, the Indigenous offenders will receive a longer periods of imprisonment.

This article will discuss the present responses of the Australian criminal justice system towards the Indigenous people, it will evaluate the effectiveness of the responses of the Australian criminal justice system and also recommend any alternative approaches which might address the issue more effectively.

Indigenous offenders and the Australia Criminal Justice System

The terms ‘Indigenous’ or ‘Aboriginal’ refers to various language groups of people who were residing in Australia during the of European settlement, as well as the Torres Strait Islander people and the Aboriginal peoples of the continent (Poroch, 2007). Criminology Research Paper Example

According to a report from the Western Australian Department of Indigenous Affairs (2005), the Indigenous people in Western Australia are 15 times more likely to become victims of homicide and 6.5 times more likely to report crimes against the person to police than non-Indigenous people.

Indigenous people are 6.2 times more likely to be sentenced into prison by lower courts, 9.2 times more likely to be arrested, 23.7 times more likely to be sentenced into prison as an adult, and 48 times more likely to be imprisoned as juveniles than non-Indigenous people.

Additionally, another report from the Australian Human Rights Commission (2012), has noted that the adult prison population in Australia comprises of 26 percent of Indigenous people.

An increased overrepresentation from the point of arrest to sentencing: 75 percent of Indigenous people have a higher probability of returning to prison at least once compared to 43 percent of non-Indigenous males, and 88 percent of male Indigenous people are rearrested compared to 52 percent of non-Indigenous people (Western Australian Department of Indigenous Affairs, 2005). Criminology Research Paper Example

Government Response

With regards to the over-representation of the Indigenous people, the Australia government has set up the Indigenous courts and also other practices in the justice system to address this issue (Daly & Marchetti, 2004).

Some of these courts are the Circle Sentencing in New South Wales, the Murri and Rockhampton Courts in Queensland, the Nunga and Aboriginal Courts in South Australia, and the Koori Courts in Victoria (Lawrie, Thomas, Brignell, Smart, & Potas, 2003; Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, 2003; Daly & Marchetti, 2004; The Koori Court, 2012).

The Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADIC) has also created as many as 339 recommendations focusing on reducing the Indigenous imprisonment rate and likewise to provide the opportunity for Indigenous people to be part of the justice system as advisors or court staff (Williams, 2001).

It is not really hard to describe why new innovative justice practices are developing, however we may ask why this is occurring now.

One of the reasons is that it always takes time for a legal reform. Although some recommendations are proposed about more than a decade ago by the RCIADIC, the governments are somewhat sluggish at implementing them or introducing newer policies, particularly those in regards with changing of race relations (Daly & Marchetti, 2004).

Next reason can be that there arise a new class of judges and magistrates of the criminal courts, who are having a stronger position of the activist stance of policy making. At the same time, the court authorities, departments and some government ministers have shown their support (Daly & Marchetti, 2004). Criminology Research Paper Example

Thus, such support will allow staying power to be given to the judicial officers. Another reason is the rise of Justice Agreements throughout Australia with its awareness of the need for Aboriginal administrations and partnerships between state governments, to shape an enhanced structure of justice for Indigenous people (The Koori Court, 2012).

Indigenous Courts and its Effectiveness

Conferences and Indigenous courts are founded on the purpose of seeking to create an environment, which is more suitable for the Indigenous people compared to what the mainstream courts can offer (Louis & Morgan, 2010).

The four main purposes of the Indigenous courts are namely (i) divert Indigenous lawbreakers into rehabilitation, (ii) decreasing the rates of Indigenous lawbreakers from reoffending, (iii) minimizing court order breaches, (iv) to improve court attendance (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2013). Criminology Research Paper Example

Indigenous courts do not automatically allow Indigenous offenders to evade imprisonment since the way it give its sentence are similar to the mainstream courts, as well as its decision to discharge a case with or without conditions, supervision orders, fines, community service, custodial sentences or suspended sentences (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2013).

These offenders are required to not only attend all court processes but to be involve actively as well (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2013).

Some critics claim that Indigenous courts practices somewhat represents the restorative justice or therapeutic justice (Freiberg, 2001), however that is not true.

The effectiveness of the Indigenous courts is mainly assessed by the rate of decline with regards to reoffending, another indicator to be assessed is the amount of time before the subsequent occurrence of crime along with the degree of its severity (Marchetti & Daly, 2007). Improved court attendance rates and the lessening of court order breaches are also the commonly used measures (Marchetti & Daly, 2007).

According to a research done by Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2013), there are currently no substantial evidence found in regards with any decrease in reoffending, extended amount of time to the following crime, or the decline of the seriousness of impending crimes which were dealt by the Kalgoorlie Court, Murri Court, Children’s Koori Court and Circle Sentencing. One exception, however, was the Adult Koori Court which reported that there has been a decrease in the rate of reoffending (Harris, 2006).

Criminology Research Paper Example
Criminology Research Paper Example

Although the effectiveness seems to be insignificant due to the lack of evidence, which are the measurable outcomes. Nevertheless, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2013) believes that the Indigenous courts can provide several intangible benefits. Criminology Research Paper Example

For example, improving the relationship between the Indigenous community and the court, helping the Indigenous people to have better accessibility to court and also increasing cohesiveness of the local community (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2013). With these arrangement, the attendance of Indigenous defendants in court will overall be higher.


This article has examined the responses of the Australian criminal justice system towards the over-representation of the Indigenous people and it has also discussed about the effectiveness of setting up Indigenous courts to curb with the over-representation issue.

Although current studies have not found substantial proof that Indigenous courts system aid with any decrease amount of reoffending, this is because it will require more time to see the full effects of the influences which these courts have. Nevertheless, it is believed that it might already improve other social aspect of the Indigenous community (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2013). Criminology Research Paper Example

Some alternative approaches which might address the issue more effectively is to invest more into interpreter services as Indigenous people could only answer simply framed questions as they can speak very basic English (Cooke, 2003). Improving the interpreter services will also aid the judges, lawyers and police to work more efficiently in the justice department when relating with the Indigenous people.

A research done by The Justice Committee, (2009) has found that investing significantly in preventative service can prevent individuals from becoming offenders in future. Those who need such preventive services are namely, individuals with mental disorders, individuals with alcohol and drug problems and also adolescent at the outskirts of the criminal justice system (The Justice Committee, 2009).

Therefore, another recommendation is to reinvest a quota of the reserves spent on prison department to the communities where the bulk prison population came from. The funds should be used to generate services and programs shaped in a way to address the fundamental root cause of crime in those communities.

As of now, we have yet to completely comprehend fully how Indigeneity could make a difference to judges. Therefore, it is vital for us to increase our awareness on how Indigeneity could affect the judges when they are sentencing.

Researchers in the future could explore the relationship between Indigeneity and judges’ rational while sentencing as this will aid to conclude if there are any possible factors which affect Indigenous offenders versus non-Indigenous offenders sentencing.

Preferably, future research can also if possible, interviews judges and inspect the judges’ sentencing statements to further appreciate the courts sentencing practices, viewpoints and its repercussions of Indigenous offenders.

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