School House to Big House


  • Grace O'Brien University of Technology Sydney
  • Michelle Trudgett University of Technology Sydney



education, exclusion, Indigenous males, juvenile detention


In 1991, the Australian Government released the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody Report. Of the 339 recommendations, Recommendation 62 identified that there was an alarming over-representation of Indigenous youth in contact with the criminal justice system. The report called for immediate action by governments to develop strategies that would urgently reduce retention rates of Indigenous youth within the prison system. Analysis of the literature indicates that almost three decades after the release of this report, the high numbers of Indigenous youth who are incarcerated, or who have come into contact with the juvenile justice system remains the same. Although there is a good deal of literature investigating the criminological characteristics of this phenomena; there is a substantial gap in the literature surrounding the educational exclusion of young Indigenous males from the formal education system. This paper focusses specifically on the literature surrounding student exclusion from state schools and how this may provide some insight into the subsequent over-representation of young Indigenous males within the Queensland juvenile justice system.


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How to Cite

O’Brien, G., & Trudgett, M. (2020). School House to Big House. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 49(1), 98–106.