Jodie O’Leary writes in The Conversation (4.8.16) about the revelations of mistreatment of youth in detention facilities in the Northern Territory, and argues how the ‘tough on crime’ approach of dealing with youth offenders, such as adopted by the previous Newman Government in Queensland, goes against the evidence of what works in terms of rehabilitation.
‘The recent exposure of the abuse inflicted on child detainees at the Don Dale facility in the Northern Territory has shone a much-needed light on youth justice in Australia.
‘Important questions are being asked about why these children were treated this way in detention. But we also need to ask why children are being detained at all.
‘… Alternatives to detention exist for those children who would otherwise be kept in detention pre-trial and for those who would otherwise be sentenced to detention.
‘There is no need for Australia to reinvent the wheel to find effective options. They can be adapted from options found in research from Europe, the US, New Zealand, and Western Australia. Many of these programs have had success in changing children’s behaviour and reducing recidivism.’
- Rethinking youth justice: there are alternatives to juvenile detention »
- Why are so many Indigenous kids in detention in the NT in the first place? »
- There’s still a long way to go for the Don Dale royal commission to achieve justice »
- Australia justice system overhaul needed to address Indigenous incarceration, inquiry finds »
- ‘Naming and shaming’ juvenile offenders or open justice? A new battle over press freedom »
- Locking up kids damages their mental health and sets them up for more disadvantage. Is this what we want? »
- A new bill keeping 10 year olds out of jail is a good start, but it needs to go further »
- Ten-year-olds do not belong in detention. Why Australia must raise the age of criminal responsibility »
- Australia moves towards raising age of criminal responsibility but advocates say 12 still too young »
- Sending teens to maximum security prisons shows Australia needs to raise the age of criminal responsibility »
- Why we should not rush to raise the age of criminal responsibility in Australia »