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Type: Conference paper
Title: International approaches to the accommodation of Indigenous prisoners
Author: Grant, E.M.
Citation: Prisons 2015 : sharing insights on whole of life cycle management of correctional facilities, 2015, pp.1-37
Publisher Place: Sydney
Issue Date: 2015
Conference Name: Prisons 2015 (17 Mar 2015 - 18 Mar 2015 : Melbourne, Vic.)
Statement of
Elizabeth Grant
Abstract: The high incarceration rate of people from Indigenous cultures is a world-wide phenomenon. The reasons for overrepresentation vary in detail and multiplicity across different contexts but there are commonalities. This paper examines the manner in which various countries have sought to accommodate the differing needs of Indigenous prisoners. It outlines the Native American religious practices and ceremonies allowed in US prisons and some of the struggles associated with exercising religious freedoms. The partnerships forged between US correctional agencies and American Indian agencies to allow prisoners to serve time on reservations are also discussed. These experiences are contrasted to the Canadian experience of the establishment of healing lodges and the integration of Aboriginal religious ceremonies into mainstream prisons. Australian experiences have been vastly different and this presentation outlines the various approaches including the recent construction of a prison to meet the needs of Aboriginal prisoners in West Kimberley. In response to the large numbers of Māori imprisoned, New Zealand developed the concept of Māori Focus Units, built on the premise that increased cultural knowledge reduces the criminal behaviour. The Māori Focus Units and Pacific Islander Units present unique responses to incarcerating Indigenous prisoners. Finally, the paper outlines the establishment of the first prison in Greenland to respond to needs of the Kalaallit peoples
Rights: Copyright status unknown
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