therefore this creates backlog, which pushes sentencing dates back until the DNA can be tested and the results concluded. This can be detrimental in the increase of incarceration rates as many offenders in prison could be awaiting DNA results from crimes committed many years ago, furthermore with new crimes being committed this adds to the increasing rates of incarceration. When examining the statistics of incarceration rates in regards to women and women of an indigenous background it is shown to have increased in the years. Many in society would believe that incarceration facilities are predominantly for men, whereas that is not the case, women are contributing towards the incarceration rates more every year. The number of females that are detained in custody, has increased by 10 percent and an overall percentage over the past five years to have increased by 37 per cent (Australian Bureau of Statistics 4517.0, 2018) Trotter (2017) says many of the female offenders crimes consist of “minor, non-violent offences linked to personal circumstances of poverty, hardship and, overwhelmingly, trauma”, with most of the common charges for females being illegal involvement in illegal drugs, which is followed acts which intend to cause injury (Australian Bureau of Statistics 1301.0, 2018) Furthermore, in comparison to men this was the most common offence, which was then followed by sexual assault (Australian Bureau of Statistics 4517.0, 2018) Trotter (2017) says “Indigenous Australians comprise of only three per cent of the overall Australian population, 34 per cent of female prisoners are Aboriginal women.” Many Aboriginal and Torres Islander offenders experience of poverty, unemployment, compromised mental health, addiction, housing insecurity, violence and abuse (Trotter, 2017) which are very significant drivers that can lead to Aboriginal and Torres Islander women committing offences. 3
INCARCERATION IN AUSTRALIA The amount of Aboriginal offenders and Torres Islander offenders in incarceration facilities makes up 11,894 out of the 43,018 offender population, that is growing by 4 per cent each year (Australian Bureau of Statistics 4517, 2018) Furthermore the most common offence for women of an indigenous background were acts with intent to cause injury, followed by unlawful entry with intent and extortion (Australian Bureau of Statistics 4517, 2018) When examining the incarceration dates of Australia, America and other westernised countries it was discovered that incarceration itself is not the answer to decreasing crime. The incarceration rate in Australia is growing significantly fast, it seems beneficial to focus on the main problem: incarceration. Australia needs to focus its resources into understanding why people commit crimes such as people in low economic and social determinants on crime, once learned approaches can be tried to address the problem and a solution of how to minimise the issue, therefore decreasing incarceration rates. The Parliament of Australia (2013) states that main drivers for crime include socio-economic conditions such as poverty,
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- Sociology, Australian Bureau of Statistics