Overrepresentation of aboriginal people in justice system

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Criminology

Document 1

Prejudice, discrimination and racial segregation have been evident since the human history in Canada. It is specifically more prevalent among close societies with varying cultural beliefs, religious differences or with different skin colors. The prevalence of the tragic history of racism and discrimination does not only exist in the Canadian communities but also in the administration of Canadian justice system. The aboriginal people have suffered cultural oppression, social injustice as well as loss of self-governance. According to Mulligan, Axford, and Solecki (2016), in 2015, the aboriginal people accounted for 25 percent of the homicide victims which was 7 times more than the non-indigenous counterparts. Many factors contribute to the weakening of relationship ties as well as self-controlled behavior: socialization changes that are uncontrollable by the community, breakdown of families which results in poor nurturing and children socialization, poverty restricted opportunities for youths due economic marginalization, disrespect of the indigenous people culture as well as self-destructive characteristics are the primary contributors of the aboriginals criminal behavior which is passed from one generation to another (Clinard, Quinney &Wildeman, 2014).

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The varying definition of crime or inability to define it varies from one community to another. Different communities and societies have different definitions of crimes and this has widely magnified the criminal behavior among the aboriginal people. For example, many of the indigenous people still continue with hunting and fishing as their cultural right, although they have a high risk of getting prosecuted or charged under the territorial and the federal laws of Canada. Furthermore, criminal behavior is part of large communities, most of which have the capacity to escape conviction or detection. Socio-economic theory The socio-economic theory has its basic foundation on the uncontroversial facts that the indigenous people have low life expectancies, high infant mortality, low income status, higher poverty rates, low education levels, high incidences of disease among others; these issues explain the reasons for high numbers of aboriginal people in the Canada’s justice system (Brussoni, et al.

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Proponents of this theory argue that the high number of the aboriginal people in the Canada’s system of justice is because of the overrepresentation in the social dislocation. The solution to the aboriginal overrepresentation in the justices system as outlined by the socio-economic theory does not necessary suggests reforming the judicial system to accommodate the indigenous people or establishing parallel justices system that will accommodate them (Colchester, 2016). The proponents propose empowering the aboriginal people economically to reduce the negative economic impacts resulting into their overrepresentation. Better economic transition plans will result in better job opportunities for the aboriginal people thereby translating into better living standards which will reduce their overrepresentation in the justice system. Both the federal and the territorial justice system should, therefore, consider the rights of the indigenous people in self-governance through giving them an opportunity to govern themselves.

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The federal and territorial government should support the indigenous people in establishing their justice system that will conform to their cultural norms, traditional values as well as aboriginal rights. In addition, self –governance of the aboriginal people which includes; freedom to create as well as to maintain codes of crime laws, as well as a system for the self-governance enforcement should also be developed. The attorney general's ministry should work hand in hand with the aboriginal's community as well as counsel to create opportunities for the indigenous people to give their views and feedback on the overall functionality of the justice system. However, for this program to be effective in reducing the aboriginal's overrepresentation in the justice system, it should be culturally anchored to accommodate the unique culture of the indigenous people.

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Social justice, equality, and fairness should be the Canadians federal government hallmark. This will involve eliminating the legacy of oppression, suppression, exploitation as well as discrimination of aboriginal people that has been the custom of the Canadian government for a century. The justice system has been blamed for the larger part of the aboriginal overrepresentation in the criminal justice system. However, there are still hopes the justice system will act as an instrument of equality, justice as well as playing a positive role in accommodating the aboriginal people in Canada. References Brussoni, M. , Quinney, R. , & Wildeman, J. Criminal behavior systems: A typology. Routledge Colchester, M. Do commodity certification systems uphold indigenous peoples' rights? Lessons from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and Forest Stewardship Council.

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