Western Australia’s prison population has the highest rate of Aboriginal over-representation in Australia. Research on the criminogenic effect of imprisonment suggests that the use of imprisonment as a deterrent to future offending is not empirically supported and that imprisonment may in fact contribute to further offending. Consequently, this article explores theoretical debates surrounding penality as a way to inform alternative crime control strategies to imprisonment. It will be argued that any strategy to reduce Aboriginal imprisonment rates could benefit from a perspective that views Aboriginal imprisonment as a manifestation of Aboriginal resistance to settler colonial dominance.

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