SUSANBARRETT BScHons SchoolofCriminologyandCriminalJustice by wqs99947

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									                      PATHWAYS TO DETENTION




                                                                             By

                                          SUSAN BARRETT
                                                    BSc Hons
                   School of Criminology and Criminal Justice
                                              Faculty of Arts
                                           Griffith University
                                                     Australia




Submitted in fulfilment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
                                                                  August 2006
This work has not been previously submitted for a degree or diploma in any university. To
the best of my knowledge and belief, the thesis contains no material previously published
or written by another person except where due reference is made in the thesis itself.


Susan Barrett

August 2006




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                                    ABSTRACT


This research utilised a range of deterministic and stochastic analyses to establish
whether Queensland's juvenile justice system processes Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal
young male offenders differently. The impetus for this research stemmed from the
continued high rates of Aboriginal over-representation within Australia's criminal
justice system, despite diversionary measures to reduce such over-representation, and a
commitment by the Queensland Government to reduce by 50% the number of
Aboriginal peoples in custody by the year 2011. There are two competing hypotheses
concerning the cause of this over-representation, (i) external factors such as socio-
economic disadvantage, unemployment or substance abuse, or (ii) systemic disparity
within the criminal justice system. For this research, disparity is defined as the
unacceptable use of discrimination; discrimination can be appropriate if it is used to
define or enhance a situation, such as discriminating between offenders who are
recidivists and those who are first time offenders. The inappropriate use of
discrimination occurs for example, when harsher sentences are issued to offenders
based on non-legal factors such as race or gender. Systemic disparity is therefore used
here to represent the inappropriate use of discrimination against an offender by the
criminal justice system.


The second hypothesis, one of systemic disparity, provided the framework for this
research, which posed the following primary question: Is there quantifiable evidence to
support the existence of disparity acting against young male Aboriginal offenders
within Queensland's juvenile justice system? Two separate but complementary studies
were designed to address this issue: the pathways study and the trajectory study.


The pathways study utilised 20,648 finalised appearances for Aboriginal and non-
Aboriginal young male offenders in Queensland's juvenile courts, during 1999 to 2003.
Three custodial decision-making stages (police custody, remand, and sentencing) were
examined and two questions initially posed: Does the custodial decision made at one
stage of the juvenile justice system impact on a subsequent custodial decision-making
stage? Does criminal history, Aboriginal status, offence type or an interaction of these
factors significantly influence the probability of (i) detention in police custody (ii) court
remand (iii) a custodial order at sentencing? It was recognised that other legally relevant
factors such as family structure and stability, school attendance and community ties

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might also influence these custodial decisions; however, for the purposes of this
research it was not possible to include these variables in the analyses.


Controlling for criminal history, findings from logistic regression analyses indicated that
being detained in police custody increased the odds of being remanded into custody,
and being remanded into custody increased the odds of a custodial order. Whilst
Aboriginal status was not a consistent factor at any of these three custodial stages, there
was clear evidence of disparity acting against the young male Aboriginal offender,
particularly early in their criminal career.


To examine these disparities further, these three custodial stages were modeled as eight
processing pathways: four of which resulted in a custodial order and four in a non-
custodial order. Using this processing model, a third question was posed: Do young
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal male offenders have different custodial pathways?
Findings indicated that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young male offenders were in
general, processed along similar custodial pathways that did not include police custody,
remand or a custodial order. However, young male Aboriginal offenders were less likely
than equivalent non-Aboriginal offenders to have been processed along this pathway
and more likely to be processed along the pathways that included remand. It was found
that young offenders with a chronic criminal history were more likely to be processed
along these remand pathways, and Aboriginal offenders were more likely to have a
chronic criminal history than non-Aboriginal offenders; there was clear evidence of
disparity at specific custodial stages of the system. In addition, as young male
Aboriginal offenders progressed deeper into the system there was evidence of
cumulative disparity, particularly along the remand pathways, meaning that the
probability of being in custody increases as the offender progresses from one custodial
stage to the next custodial stage.


Given the existence of disparity, acting within the juvenile justice system and against
the young male Aboriginal offender, it was important to formulate viable solutions to
such disparity, particularly in light of the Queensland government's commitment to
reduce Aboriginal offenders in custody by 50%. Deterministic analyses and computer
simulations were used to test the viability of various reduction scenarios suggested by
the data. Despite in some instances, different results from the deterministic analyses
and the computer simulations, overall findings indicated that to reduce custodial
disparity whether at the remand stage, the custodial order stage, or in custody overall
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(the summation of police custody, remand and custodial orders) that reducing remand,
regardless of whether the young offender had been in police custody or not, was the
best overall solution.


The trajectory study built on the findings of the pathways study, which had identified
criminal history as an important factor in the processing pathways of young male
Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders. Using the semi-parametric group based
method, the criminal trajectories of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young male
offenders in Queensland were modeled. These trajectories were based on the finalised
appearances of two cohorts of young offenders aged 10 to 17 years of age: those born
in 1983 and 1984 and who had turned 18 years of age in 2001 and 2002 respectively.
All of these young male offenders had entered the adult system when they turned 17
years of age, and this data provided their complete juvenile history in Queensland.


Prior analyses using this method had not considered Aboriginal status or race as a
determining factor in these trajectory models, nor had these models been validated
either internally or externally in published works. For this research, internal validity was
considered as the correct classification of offenders into trajectory groups, and external
validity as the ability to reproduce these results in a second or subsequent sample of
juvenile offenders.


Two questions were therefore posed in the trajectory study: Do young Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal male offenders have different criminal trajectories? Can the predicted
model(s) be validated, both internally and externally? Initial findings indicated that the
optimal trajectory models selected on prior knowledge and the Bayesian Information
Criterion did not validate internally. This finding brought into question the trajectory
results of other published works that had not internally validated their models. The
models finally selected as optimal indicated that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young
male offenders did not have a common criminal trajectory and could not be modeled
as one population. Both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young offenders were modeled
by a low-frequency group, a late-onset group, and a chronic trajectory group. However,
the young male Aboriginal offender was more likely than the non-Aboriginal to have
been in the chronic or the late onset group and less likely to have been in the low-
frequency group.




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External validation utilised an innovative but simple method that utilised all of the data
in the modeling process along with a sample of this same data for validation purposes:
10% of the criminal profiles, which were characteristic of the trajectory groups, and a
further 5% of randomly selected profiles were chosen for validation. All of the
characteristic profiles, but only 50% of the randomly selected profiles were validated,
and of the latter, the majority not validated was in the late-onset group. In total, 79.2%
of the Aboriginal trajectories and 85.6% of the non-Aboriginal criminal trajectories
were correctly externally validated.


Overall, there are two important implications from this research for government. First,
even though young male Aboriginal offenders are more likely to have a chronic
criminal history than non-Aboriginal offenders, this factor does not account for all of
the observed disparity acting against the young Aboriginal offender within
Queensland's juvenile justice system: there is evidence of disparity within the system
that is unaccounted for by either offence type or criminal history. Second, given this
chronic criminal history, systemic solutions to systemic disparity whilst viable, will not
ultimately resolve this problem: they are only short-term measures at the end of a very
long justice system. Longer-term solutions are needed to address external factors such
as socio-economic disadvantage, unemployment and substance abuse in Aboriginal
communities, before these young people are exposed to the system. Continuing to
concentrate on systemic solutions, to such an entrenched problem as Aboriginal over-
representation and disparity, is a misdirection of system resources and is inconsistent
with social justice.




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                                               TABLE OF CONTENTS


ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................III

TABLE OF CONTENTS .......................................................................................................... VII

LIST OF FIGURES.......................................................................................................................VI

LIST OF TABLES ......................................................................................................................VIII

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ......................................................................................................... X



CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW.................................................... 1

    1.1          THE PATHWAYS STUDY .................................................................................................. 5
    1.2          THE TRAJECTORY STUDY............................................................................................... 7
    1.3          SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS RESEARCH............................................................................... 8
    1.4         PLAN OF THESIS............................................................................................................... 9



CHAPTER TWO: ABORIGINAL YOUTH JUSTICE ......................................................... 11

    2.1 ABORIGINAL OVER-REPRESENTATION WITHIN THE AUSTRALIAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE
            SYSTEM ................................................................................................................................ 13

        2.1.1       Police apprehension and custody........................................................................... 13
        2.1.2       Remand...................................................................................................................... 16
        2.1.3       Custodial orders........................................................................................................ 18
    2.2 EXPLANATIONS FOR THE OVER-REPRESENTATION OF ABORIGINAL YOUTH IN THE
            JUVENILE JUSTICE SYSTEM ................................................................................................ 20

        2.2.1       Systemic causes of Aboriginal over-representation............................................. 20
        2.2.2       Systemic solutions to Aboriginal over-representation ........................................ 36
        2.2.3        Societal causes of Aboriginal over-representation ............................................. 44
        2.2.4       Social and economic disadvantage and crime ...................................................... 49
        2.2.5       Aboriginal disadvantage today................................................................................ 53
    2.3         CHAPTER SUMMARY ...................................................................................................... 58




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CHAPTER THREE: THE RELATION BETWEEN AGE AND CRIME ..................... 60

   3.1        AGE AND CRIME ............................................................................................................ 61
      3.1.1       The age-crime debate............................................................................................... 62
   3.2        THE DEVELOPMENTAL AND LIFE COURSE APPROACH TO CRIMINOLOGY ............ 65
   3.3        THE LINK BETWEEN JUVENILE AND ADULT OFFENDING ....................................... 66
   3.4        ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUES FOR DEVELOPMENTAL TRAJECTORIES ....................... 69
      3.4.1       Criticisms of the semi-parametric group based method..................................... 70
   3.5        CRIMINAL TRAJECTORY STUDIES ................................................................................ 73
      3.5.1       Self-report versus official agency data................................................................... 73
      3.5.2       Trajectory studies ..................................................................................................... 74
   3.6        CHAPTER SUMMARY ...................................................................................................... 79



CHAPTER FOUR: RESEARCH CONTEXT ......................................................................... 81

   4.1        RESEARCH AIMS ............................................................................................................. 82
   4.2        RESEARCH CONTEXT .................................................................................................... 85
      4.2.1       Queensland's juvenile justice system ..................................................................... 85
   4.3        DATA SOURCE................................................................................................................ 88
      4.3.1       Aboriginal status....................................................................................................... 89
      4.3.2       Age.............................................................................................................................. 89
   4.4        DATA............................................................................................................................... 95
   4.5        SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS .................................................................................... 97



CHAPTER FIVE: THE PATHWAYS STUDY.................................................................... 101

   5.1        METHOD ...................................................................................................................... 101
      5.1.1       The model ............................................................................................................... 101
      5.1.2       Methodological issues............................................................................................ 105
      5.1.3       Statistical analyses................................................................................................... 107
   5.2        RESULTS........................................................................................................................ 111
      5.2.1        Logistic regression for police custody ............................................................... 112
      5.2.2       Logistic regression for remand ............................................................................ 114
      5.2.3       Logistic regression for custodial orders.............................................................. 117
      5.2.4       Findings of the logistic regression analyses........................................................ 122

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       5.2.5         The custodial pathways........................................................................................ 124
       5.2.6       Findings of the custodial pathways ...................................................................... 161
       5.2.7       Deterministic analyses and computer simulations to reduce Aboriginal
                   disparity.................................................................................................................... 161
       5.2.6 Findings of the deterministic analyses and computer simulations.................... 167
   5.5         SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS .................................................................................. 168



CHAPTER SIX: THE TRAJECTORY STUDY .................................................................... 169

   6.1         MODEL SPECIFICS FOR RESEARCH QUESTION ONE ................................................ 169
   6.2         MODEL SPECIFICS FOR RESEARCH QUESTION TWO................................................ 172
   6.3         METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES ........................................................................................ 175
   6.4         RESULTS........................................................................................................................ 176
       6.4.1       Overview of cohort data ....................................................................................... 176
       6.4.2       Criminal trajectory analysis ................................................................................... 177
       6.4.3       External validity...................................................................................................... 183
   6.5         SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS .................................................................................. 187



CHAPTER SEVEN: DISCUSSION ........................................................................................ 189

   7.1         KEY FINDINGS ............................................................................................................. 191
       7.1.1       The pathways study................................................................................................ 191
       7.1.2       The trajectory study ............................................................................................... 193
   7.2         SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESEARCH ............................................................................ 195
   7.3         LIMITATIONS................................................................................................................ 197
   7.4         IMPLICATIONS.............................................................................................................. 199
       7.4.1       Theoretical implications ........................................................................................ 200
       7.4.2       Practical implications ............................................................................................. 200
       7.4.3       Implications for future research........................................................................... 202
   7.5         CONCLUSIONS ............................................................................................................. 203



REFERENCES............................................................................................................................. 205

APPENDIX A ...............................................................................................................................228

APPENDIX B ...............................................................................................................................248

APPENDIX C ..............................................................................................................................368
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                                                LIST OF FIGURES


Figure 2.1: Percentage of remandees in Australia, as a proportion of the prison population
                by state, 1978 to 1990. .......................................................................................................... 16
Figure 2.2: Rates of Indigenous over-representation in Australian juvenile detention
                centres, by State, 1994-2003................................................................................................. 19
Figure 4.1: Queensland's juvenile justice system. .................................................................................. 86
Figure 4.2: Police custody, court remand and detention for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal
                young male offenders in Queensland, 1999-2003............................................................. 96
Figure 4.3: The percentage of young male Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders in
                police custody, 1999 to 2003................................................................................................ 99
Figure 4.4: The percentage of young male Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders in
                remand, 1999 to 2003. .......................................................................................................... 99
Figure 4.5: The percentage of young male Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders who
                received a custodial order, 1999 to 2003..........................................................................100
Figure 5.1: Pathways to detention and non-detention for young male offenders in
                Queensland's juvenile justice system (1999 to 2003)......................................................103
Figure 5.2: Pathways to detention and non-detention for young male offenders in
                Queensland's juvenile justice system: imprisonable offences. ......................................126
Figure 5.3: Pathways to detention and non-detention for young male offenders in
                Queensland's juvenile justice system: imprisonable offences against the person. .....129
Figure 5.4: Pathways to detention and non-detention for young male offenders in
                Queensland's juvenile justice system: imprisonable property offences. ......................130
Figure 5.5: Pathways to detention and non-detention for young male offenders in
                Queensland's juvenile justice system: imprisonable 'other' offences. ..........................132
Figure 5.6: The percentages of finalised appearances for young male offenders who were
                issued a custodial order, 1999-2003 in Queensland's juvenile courts. .........................133
Figure 5.7: Pathways to detention and non-detention for young male offenders (with a
                prior custodial order) in Queensland's juvenile justice system: imprisonable
                offences that result in a custodial order. ..........................................................................137
Figure 5.8: Custodial pathways for supervised and unsupervised orders (other than a
                custodial order) for an imprisonable offence: young male offenders in a
                Queensland court (1999-2003). .........................................................................................140
Figure 5.9: Custodial pathways for supervised and unsupervised orders (other than a
                custodial order) for imprisonable offences against the person, for young male
                offenders in a Queensland court (1999-2003).................................................................142
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Figure 5.10: Custodial pathways for supervised and unsupervised orders (other than a
              custodial order) for imprisonable property offences, for young male offenders
              in a Queensland court (1999-2003)...................................................................................144
Figure 5.11: Custodial pathways for supervised and unsupervised orders (other than a
              custodial order) for imprisonable 'other' offences, for young male offenders in a
              Queensland court (1999-2003). .........................................................................................145
Figure 5.12: The proportion of finalised appearances for young male offenders who were
              issued a supervised order (imprisonable offences), 1999-2003 in Queensland's
              juvenile courts. .....................................................................................................................146
Figure 5.13: The proportion of finalised appearances for young male offenders who were
              issued an unsupervised order (imprisonable offences), 1999-2003 in
              Queensland's juvenile courts..............................................................................................147
Figure 5.14: Prior custodial orders for young male offenders in Queensland's juvenile
              justice system: imprisonable offences that result in a non custodial order.................151
Figure 5.15: Custodial pathways for young male offenders in Queensland's juvenile justice
              system: imprisonable offences that result in a group conference.................................153
Figure 5.16: The proportion of finalised appearances for young male offenders who were
              referred to a group conference (imprisonable offences), 1999-2003                                                           in
              Queensland's juvenile courts..............................................................................................154
Figure 5.17: Custodial pathways for young male offenders in Queensland's juvenile justice
              system: non-imprisonable offences...................................................................................155
Figure 5.18: Custodial pathways for young male offenders in Queensland's juvenile justice
              system: non-imprisonable property offences. .................................................................157
Figure 5.19: Custodial pathways for young male offenders in Queensland's juvenile justice
              system: non-imprisonable other offences. .......................................................................158
Figure 5.20: The proportion of finalised appearances for young male offenders who were
              issued a supervised order for a non-imprisonable offence, 1999-2003 in
              Queensland's juvenile courts..............................................................................................159
Figure 5.21: The proportion of finalised appearances for young male offenders who were
              issued an unsupervised order for a non-imprisonable offence, 1999-2003 in
              Queensland's juvenile courts..............................................................................................159
Figure 6.1: Age of young offenders by Aboriginal status. ................................................................177
Figure 6.2: Trajectories of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal optimal models. ..................................181
Figure 6.3: Mean number of finalised appearances for low offending group.................................182




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                                                     LIST OF TABLES


Table 2.1: Indigenous over-representation rates of police custody across Australia for 2002. ...... 15
Table 2.2: Group conferencing in Australia........................................................................................... 37
Table 2.3: Australia's Indigenous and non-Indigenous population. ................................................... 54
Table 3.1: Studies that have used the semi-parametric approach to identify offending
                trajectories............................................................................................................................... 75
Table 4.1: The number of finalised appearances, by Aboriginal status, for the pathways and
                the trajectory study. ............................................................................................................... 89
Table 4.2: The number of prior custodial orders by Aboriginal status, for the pathways
                study. ....................................................................................................................................... 92
Table 4.3: Categorisation of most serious offence types for the pathways study............................. 93
Table 4.4: Ratio of finalised appearances to young offenders, 1999-2003. ....................................... 95
Table 4.5: Frequency and percentage of finalised appearances by court order for young
                male Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders in Queensland, 1999-2003:
                imprisonable and non-imprisonable offences. .................................................................. 98
Table 5.1: Example of agency data utilised in the pathways study. .................................................106
Table 5.2: Results of the tests of significance for police custody. ...................................................113
Table 5.3: Results of the tests of significance for remand. ...............................................................116
Table 5.4: Model selection for custodial orders. ................................................................................119
Table 5.5: Results of the tests of significance for custodial orders. ................................................120
Table 5.6: Frequencies of finalised appearances for supervised and unsupervised orders. .........125
Table 5.7: The probability of a young male Aboriginal offender being processed along a
                particular pathway (custodial orders)................................................................................134
Table 5.8: The probability of a young male non-Aboriginal offender being processed along
                a particular pathway (custodial orders).............................................................................135
Table 5.9: The probability of a young male Aboriginal offender being processed along a
                particular pathway (supervised and unsupervised orders). ............................................148
Table 5.10: The probability of a young male non-Aboriginal offender being processed
                along a particular pathway (supervised and unsupervised orders). ..............................149
Table 5.11: Frequencies of young male offenders referred to a group conference for an
                imprisonable offence...........................................................................................................154
Table 5.12: Frequencies of finalised appearances for imprisonable offences that resulted in
                a group conference..............................................................................................................154
Table 6.1: Trajectory analysis of juvenile offenders (10 to 17 years)................................................178
Table 6.3: Diagnostics of assignment accuracy for second-best optimal trajectories....................180
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Table 6.4: Statistics for final optimal trajectories. ...............................................................................182
Table 6.5: Randomly selected profiles that were incorrectly assigned on validation. ....................184
Table 6.6: Revalidation statistics. ...........................................................................................................185
Table 6.7: Offender profiles compared with the minimum profile for each Trajectory
                 group. ....................................................................................................................................187




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                              ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS



I would like to thank Professor Ross Homel, Associate Professor Janet Chaseling,
Associate Professor Boni Robertson and Associate Professor Anna Stewart for supervising
my doctoral research. In particular, my heartfelt thanks to Professor Ross Homel and
Associate Professor Janet Chaseling, for their encouragement and intellectual guidance over
the past few years. Appreciation must go to Associate Professor Anna Stewart who
facilitated the scholarship for this research.


A special word of thanks is reserved for my supervisor Associate Professor Boni
Robertson whose support and guidance were invaluable to this research, and to the many
other Aboriginal people who have supported and guided me, especially: Uncle Reg Knox,
Uncle Graham Dillon, Aunty Delmae Barton, Aunty Roz Graham, Dr. Dale Kerwin,
Cheryl Cannon, Hellene Demosthenous and Catherine Demosthenous.


Next I would like to thank the Department of Communities and the Office of Statistical
and Economic Services in Queensland for their support of this research, specifically Sue
Bell and Rob Young at the Department of Communities, and Dr. Nancy Spencer at the
Office of Statistical and Economic Services, for their invaluable assistance during the early
part of this research.


Finally, I would like to thank my family and friends for their unending love, encouragement
and support over the last few years.


Susan Barrett




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