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cjb45.pdfcjb45 
 AuthorBoyd Hunter and J. Borland 
 PublishedJune 1999 
 Report typeCrime and Justice Bulletin No. 45 
 SubjectAboriginal / Indigenous Australians, Offenders, Policing, Socioeconomic factors and crime 
 KeywordsIndigenous, employment, unemployment, Australian Aboriginals, criminal conviction, arrests 
  
 

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Summary

Aim

Aim
This bulletin examines the effect of arrest on the employment status of indigenous Australians using data from the 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey.

Abstract

Abstract
The effects of criminal conviction on an individual’s employment prospects are a matter of policy significance, especially for Australian Aboriginals who are overrepresented both among the unemployed and among those who come before the criminal justice system. In this study the effect of arrest on the employment status of indigenous Australians is examined using data from the 1994 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Survey. Having been arrested is found to significantly reduce the probability of indigenous employment by 18.3 and 13.1 percentage points for males and females respectively. The effect also varies according to the reason for a person’s most recent arrest. Differences in arrest rates between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians may explain about 15 per cent of the difference in the level of employment between those groups. Promoting diversion options should be a priority for governments keen to break the nexus between indigenous unemployment and crime.