Author Christine Bond, Samantha Jeffries and Don Weatherburn
Published August 2011
Report Type Affiliated publication
Subject Aboriginal / Indigenous Australians; Prisons and prisoners; Sentencing
Keywords courts, disparity, focal concerns, Indigenous, sentencing

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Using administrative data from the higher and lower courts of New South Wales, this study examines whether Indigeneity: (a) exerts a direct effect on length of imprisonment term once other relevant sentencing variables are taken into account; (b) interacts with other relevant sentencing variables to influence prison length. Results show that being Indigenous significantly reduces the length of sentenced prison term in the lower courts but has no significant effect at the higher court level. Further, evidence of interactive effects by Indigenous status was scant. Only age differed significantly between Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders at both court levels. In this case age had no effect on the length of sentence imposed on Indigenous defendants in the lower courts or higher courts but increased sentence length for non-Indigenous offenders at both court levels.