Costing Indigenous and non-Indigenous offender trajectories: Establishing better estimates to assist the evidence-base and prevent offending

Dr Troy Allard1, Ms Molly McCarthy1, Professor  Anna Stewart1

1Griffith University, Mount Gravatt, Australia

Reducing Indigenous over-representation in the criminal justice system is justified on both social justice and economic grounds. This poster is based on a project where we developed an innovative costing framework and estimated direct criminal justice system unit costs based on critical cost drivers. We applied these estimates to offender trajectories, modelling offences of all individuals born in 1983/1984 in Queensland (10 to 31 years).  Separate trajectory and costing models were developed for Indigenous and non-Indigenous Queenslanders. Findings identified over one-half (53.4%) of the Indigenous population and 16.2% of the non-Indigenous population had moderate to chronic trajectories of offending.  However, because of the high levels of recontact, Indigenous offenders where on average more costly. These findings emphasise the need for innovative approaches such as justice reinvestment / payment-by-outcome to reduce Indigenous over-representation.


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