Educational experiences of young Indigenous males in Queensland : disrupting the school to prison pipeline

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Despite ample international literature regarding the school-to-prison pipeline, juvenile justice researchers in the Australian context have remained relatively silent about this phenomenon. While there are considerable studies investigating the criminological characteristics of juvenile detention in Australia; there is a substantial gap examining the educational exclusion of young Indigenous males from the formal education system and whether this has a direct bearing on their incarceration. In 1991 the Australian Federal Government released the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report. Of the 339 recommendations provided, ๐˜™๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ 62 identified that there was an alarming over-representation of Indigenous youth coming into contact with the criminal justice system. Utilising Nakataโ€™s ๐˜๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜š๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜บ and Gramsciโ€™s ๐˜›๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜๐˜ฆ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜บ, this study challenges the status quo of privilege and power that exists within the hierarchical institutions of education and the criminal justice system. A qualitative phenomenological approach and Yarning method is employed to engage nine participants from the community to tell their stories. Focussing specifically on a set of experiences relevant to Queensland State Schools, the key research themes identify that exclusion from school and the over-representation of young Indigenous males in the juvenile justice system may be connected. The implications of this study could have a significant impact on future research or policy direction for educators and those who work within the criminal justice system.
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