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SOC 3750 (50)
Chapter 10

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SOC 3750
Bill O' Grady

Chapter 10 Chapter 10 - ABORIGINAL YOUTH CRIME IN CANADA  aboriginal - includes individuals who identify as First Nations, Métis or Inuit  values - a collective conception of what is considered proper/improper, desirable/undesirable, good/bad in a culture Understanding the Complexities of Aboriginal Youth Crime  two main features o shared experience of aboriginal peoples - historically, culturally, socially and economically  relation with settlers: racism, broken treaties, assimilation attempts, domination o intergenerational trauma - repercussions felt in daily lives of Aboriginal youth  poverty, underemployment, family violence, high rates of substance abuse, poor health, overrepresentation in the criminal justice system and experience of racism and discrimination  criminalization --> the process whereby individuals are assigned the label of ‘criminal’ Historical Context Broken Relations and Promises  historical problems of many Aboriginals stem directly from assimilation  colonization --> refers to historical and ongoing processes that began with arrival of Europeans to the country and that include attempts to dominate and assimilate indigenous peoples  historical policies aimed at ‘civilizing’ and ‘assimilating’ Aboriginal peoples have created a legacy of ‘violence, fear, abandonment, loss, neglect, economic hardship, discrimination and displacement o these disadvantages create self-identity issues and frustration for Aboriginal youth Traumatization  linking traumatic experiences to history is essential to understanding the issues of Aboriginal youth face today  all they have is shitty self-identity because a positive one had been diminished by colonialism o various policies, programs and activities that government implemented over the history of colonization have undermined Aboriginal traditions, identity and social cohesion  post-colonial stress expressed through addiction, depression, health problems, suicide and violence o because those stepped in imperial ideology believed without question in their superiority over the Indigenous people, neither the regime nor colonial society in general was willing to welcome them into the midst  to do so would have required tolerance for difference, and the colonizers interpreted difference as evidence of inferiority  in urban settings, the experience of Aboriginal persons involves inadequate housing, limited education, lack of cultural awareness, unemployment, alcohol abuse and discrimination Educational and Socio-economic Implications of Crime  individual’s experience of school varies greatly according to a two-pronged set of factors o personal characteristics - gender, social class, religious creed, ethnicity  affect students’ objective chances of academic success  also impact on the subjective experience of school (attitudes toward the institution) o education systems differ according to the context and culture they’re located in  mostly based on academic or vocational streams of Judeo-Christian values  Aboriginals have higher unemployment rates than other ethnic groups in Canada o more likely to live in crowded conditions and have higher residential mobility o kids are more likely to be members of single-parent family o lower levels of education o marginalization--> the partial exclusion from mainstream society, and the social inequalities that accompany it, experienced by certain social groups Contemporary Context Victimization: A Statistical Profile  trauma → the community-level and individual-level damage, pain and suffering of indigenous peoples - physically, emotionally, spiritually and psychically - as a result of the historical and current process of colonization  victimization → the experience of being a victim, which can be linked to future criminalization o the link is quite significant  most reports focus on the role of Aboriginal youth as offenders rather than the victims  historical, cultural and economic factors experienced by Aboriginal youth are different and unique o “these factors limit application of the non-Aboriginal research, programs and policy to Aboriginal youth-at-risk”  ‘while Aboriginal youth often become engaged in criminality, their involvement is often a component of their continued victimization Criminalization: A Statistical Profile  victimization in the form of family violence and abuse, bullying and other types of assault is far too common for too many Aboriginal youth  (Fig 10.3) - shows that Aboriginal youth are more likely to receive sentences that are restrictive and that they are overrepresented in custody dispositions  The problem is systemic - Canadian Criminal Justice Association reports: o Aboriginal accused are more likely to be denied bail o more time is spent in pretrial detention by Aboriginal people o Aboriginal accused are more likely to be charged with multiple offences and often for crimes against the system [failing to appear] o Aboriginal people are more likely not to have representation at court proceedings o Aboriginal clients, especially in the northern communities, where court party flies in the day of the hearing, spend less time with their lawyers o Aboriginal offenders are more than twice as likely to be incarcerated than non- Aboriginal offenders o Aboriginal elders, who are the spiritual leaders, aren’t given the same status as prison priests and chaplains, in all institutions o Aboriginal people often pleads guilty because they are intimidated by the court and simply want to get the proceedings over with Understanding the Causes/Influences of Crime  How much suffering does one individual have to suffer before they retaliate against another human being? Identity, Self-esteem, and Risk Protective Factors  Identity is a life story or a set of stories that an adult has internalized to make sense of their life to self and others o youth are expected to develop a core identity that is reasonably stable and sustainable while living within a society that is characterized by change  Aboriginal youth today inherit the legacy of residential school experiences of previous generations and intergenerational trauma that is the legacy of colonization  Identity issues have implications for self-esteem o strong connection between low self-esteem and problems (aggression and antisocial behaviour)  At risk - people who are considered to be ‘on a trajectory toward a myriad of problems that threaten their present and future adjustment’ o common threads in that te
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