The Wheeler Centre
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Behind Closed Doors: Youth Detention in Australia
In July last year, Four Corners broadcast an investigation into the mistreatment of children in Northern Territory youth detention centres. The report included appalling images of teenager Dylan Voller in a mechanical restraint chair at the Alice Springs Detention Centre. The images provided a snapshot of what has been well documented in past reports and the subject of longstanding advocacy by lawyers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups working in the sector.
The report was the catalyst for the calling of a Royal Commission to investigate serious allegations of mistreatment and abuse of children within the youth detention and child protection systems of the NT (now due to be handed down this November). Indigenous children account for more than half of all Australian children in juvenile detention; this is an issue that both reflects and further entrenches racial inequality.
At this discussion, our panelists explore the connection between over-imprisonment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and over-imprisonment of the Indigenous adult population. What are effective prevention and diversion strategies for young people – and what roles could NGOs, families and communities play?
Presented in partnership with Change the Record.