The uses of punishment and exile: Aborigines in colonial Australia
The European settlement of Australia from 1788 was accompanied by a prolonged dis-possession of the indigenous people, who became British subjects at law. Regimes of punishment played an important role in this dispossession. Focusing on the colonies of latest settlement, Western Australia and Queensland, the evidence here suggests also that conventional modes of punishment were modified to accommodate indigenous offending. Public execution and corporal punishment of Aborigines was practised after their exclusion as options for the settler population - but imprisonment too was shaped to the end of managing a seemingly intractable indigenous population. In completing the process of dispossession, the colonial state developed less violent punitive resources to manage the indigenous population. Incarceration within unique institutions, segregation from the settler population and surveillance and regulation through an expanding bureaucracy were strategies of social control increasingly deployed in an attempt to address the distinctive challenges posed by a dispossessed indigenous population.
Punishment & Society
© 2001 Sage Publications. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. First published in Punishment & Society. This journal is available online: http://pun.sagepub.com/content/vol3/issue2/