In this unit we have looked at the ways in which the Australian criminal justice system works, is supposed to work, and sometimes fails to work. We know that many populations and particularly marginalised populations such as Indigenous Australians, queer people, youths, and so on - encounter many difficulties in encountering and navigating the criminal justice process. In this assessment, you are to select a marginalised population, and consider.
the contexts of their involvement with the criminal justice process (as victims, offenders, etc.)
The issues they encounter (e.g. discrimination, communication difficulties, etc recommendations for change (e.g. policy changes, systemic changes, etc.)
Your assessment should take the form of a report, documenting the contexts and issues of their involvement with the criminal justice system, and recommendations for change.
Note: a marginalised population is any group of people who have been marginal-ised from broader mainstream society, and they may have limited access to resources and opportunities due to their subordinated positions. Please consult your tutor and/or unit co-ordinator if you want to see if your proposed population is suitable.
Your first step will be to select your chosen marginalised population. As mentioned, a marginalised population refers to a group of people with shared attributes who are subordinated by mainstream society. This may involve: young people, women, racialised minorities (Aboriginal Australians, for example), religious minorities (Muslim people, for example), LGTBIQ+ people (you may select one part of this community or take a broader more general view), people with disability, and so on. It does not really matter per se which population you select, but it may be a good idea to select a community that you have knowledge of. Feel free to consult your tutor and/or Unit Co-ordinator if you need any help making this selection. The next step involves investigating the contexts of their involvement with the criminal justice system.
1. Some of the following questions may guide your thinking:
2. Is your population over-represented as offenders, victims, or both?
3. At what stages of the criminal justice process (police interactions, arrest, sentencing, etc.)
4. Does your population receive inadequate treatment?
In this section, you are trying to provide an uninformed reader with some particular context about the interactions your chosen population has with the criminal justice system. Examples may include:
1. Aboriginal women are over-represented within the criminal justice system as offenders; people with disability are often not believed as witnesses; trans people are over-represented as victims within the CJS; etc. Basically,
2. What you are trying to do is provide a who, what, where, when overview of their involvement with the criminal justice system. Or, put another way, you need to answer this question: how does your population come into contact with the criminal justice system?
3. The next step involves documenting the various issues your population encounters when navigating the criminal justice system. For example, we know that Aboriginal communities are over-policed, people with disability find criminal justice agencies and buildings inaccessible, women as (sexual assault).