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School House to Big House

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 August 2018

Grace O'Brien
Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales2007, Australia
Michelle Trudgett
Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales2007, Australia


In 1991, the Australian Government released the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report. Of the 339 recommendations, Recommendation 62 identified that there was an alarming over-representation of Indigenous youth in contact with the criminal justice system. The report called for immediate action by governments to develop strategies that would urgently reduce retention rates of Indigenous youth within the prison system. Analysis of the literature indicates that almost three decades after the release of this report, the high numbers of Indigenous youth who are incarcerated, or who have come into contact with the juvenile justice system remains the same. Although there is a good deal of literature investigating the criminological characteristics of this phenomena; there is a substantial gap in the literature surrounding the educational exclusion of young Indigenous males from the formal education system. This paper focusses specifically on the literature surrounding student exclusion from state schools and how this may provide some insight into the subsequent over-representation of young Indigenous males within the Queensland juvenile justice system.

Research Article
Copyright © The Author(s) 2018

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School House to Big House
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