From Re-imagining to Decolonising: New Directions in Indigenous Youth Justice

Professor Harry Blagg2

2University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

Through a process of what I call ‘decolonisation through stealth’, place-based Aboriginal organisations are taking the lead in developing alternative mechanisms for reducing contact with the White Settler justice system.  We have reached the point where it is clear that the ‘punitive turn’ did not deliver a crime free society, rather it entrenched Indigenous over-representation on a massive scale. In partnership with health and justice agencies, police and courts, Indigenous organisations are developing ‘on-country’ programs that tackle the underlying causes of over-representation and provide mechanisms for dealing with complex problems such as FASD and inter-generational trauma.


Harry Blagg is Professor of Criminology and Director of the Centre for Indigenous Peoples and Community Justice in the Law School University of Western Australia. He has researched and developed theory and policy on Indigenous justice issues for several decades. His new book, co-authored with Thalia Anthony, called Decolonising Criminology is to be published in 2019 by Palgrave.

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