Indigenous Incarceration in Australia

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by geoffw, 1st Jun, 2020.

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  1. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    This was raised in another thread, but I didn't want to take that thread off track.

    Today is Reconciliation Day in the ACT, a public holiday there.

    I was staggered recently to see some of the numbers regarding incarceration rates of Indigenous people in Australia. I'd had no idea it was anything like that.
    Aboriginal prison rates

    And it's something that is getting progressively worse.

    Some years ago I worked with police on a computer system, arising from the royal commission into aboriginal deaths in custody, to help ensure accountability of people in custody. The desire was there in one small jurisdiction to make things better. But things haven't become better overall.

    Also see Disproportionate incarceration rate | ALRC
     
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  2. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    It is distressing ... a major part of it is us white people demanding that the First People need to behave like us to be "acceptable". I am not excusing criminal behaviour, but I feel we have oppressed the simple needs of our country's aboriginals because they are different than ours.

    This is a society with 60,000 years of heritage - that is vastly different in basis than white history - I am ashamed and frustrated that we, as a country, so often ignore this basic fundamental.

    I was horrified and furious to read this ... no different than blowing up parliament house or Buck Palace or Notre Dame ... but barely made the media. Rio Tinto apologises to Indigenous owners after destroying 46,000-year-old site

    What ever happened to the Statement from the Heart? A document that could've been the foundation for discussion and real change ... yet ignored and shunned by our squeaky white pollies.
     
    Last edited: 1st Jun, 2020
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  3. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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  4. MTR

    MTR Material Girl Premium Member

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    17 Aboriginal people died since 2018 in custody in Australia
    Indigenous deaths in custody worsen in year of tracking by Deaths Inside project

    I think since 1991 - over 400

    What we have here is so much concern for black deaths in USA while we ignore what we are doing in Australia

    Now that is sad
     
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  5. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Very definitely NOT being ignored by many ... but yes ... ignored by those who actually have to power to invoke change
     
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  6. bmc

    bmc Well-Known Member

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    cant help but think of this song

     
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  7. random

    random Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that's the way l see it . lt's disgusting our record in looking after our own people and in their country but at the same time , they also don't look after themselves very well in our world either, in there's yeah they manage just fine before we got her but now , everything about it is it's just sad . No idea what the answer is but l've often thought giving them back their own lands, properly l mean not just on a piece of paper with all white conditions plastered all over it , allow them to live and rule their own people lives and affairs in their ways might be the way to go
     
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  8. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Australia had its own George Floyd moment, only it passed without international outrage

    The deep anguish felt after the death of George Floyd is something Indigenous communities understand all too well, except here, they are still waiting for their moment of international reckoning.
    ...
    As Australians took to social media to denounce the events occurring in America, many Indigenous communities were left wondering where is the outcry for my family?

    So does Australia have less empathy for its own deaths in custody? Or is the American influence so great that as a country we understand their race struggles better than our own?
     
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  9. Stoffo

    Stoffo Well-Known Member

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    I may get in troble for this....

    I am happy to recognize the past, aboriginal history and the mistakes made by others, but it is the actions made by ALL moving forward that count NOW, not livng in the past !

    As a step parent for 10 years to 4 aboriginal kids and now 1 grandchild (all with cetificates) I have seen a lot, the eldest has settled down in her mid 20s, but it was the now 19yo who is worst (each time she has been to court she gets off with a warning, as the system doesn't seem to want to list another aboriginal statistic, so she "got away with it", and gets worse and escalates) and has since led the way for her 15yo brother (both now on drugs and missing to us).
    Growing up they/we don't get any additional entitlements or funding either.

    True reporting of statistics could double the current rate.
    Individuals who rort the system need to face the law like I have to, or face the aboriginal elders law, not just be let off ........
     
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  10. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    My Wife has some mates that go out each night in inner Brisbane about 3 people.2 Ladies one man and help the young homeless from a inner city Aboroginal medical centre ..And from what they tell me if they can help the young homeless that run in small gangs before they are banged up on paint can spray and the brain is fried that's where.it all starts.
    Most.that we know and watched grow up all now work within the.medical.dental.legal .management.within the various companies so not all end up in the corrections centre just depends.on the
    Parents.
     
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  11. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    The question is, why did they go off the rails to start with? Is this something deeper, a need for belonging, purpose and country that is being unmet? Or something else, like lack of self identity and therefore self worth? Or ask I completely out of line?

    I understand your frustration at the judicial system but incarceration has been proven not to work
     
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  12. skater

    skater Well-Known Member

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    Could it just be the usual thing, where troubled teens go off the rails? Many white kids get in just as much trouble. I'm not sure what the answer is, but just letting them off the hook completely, whether they be white, black, pink or purple is not the answer. All that does is enable them & the cycle continues.
     
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  13. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Founder Staff Member

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    Personally, I'd like the judicial system to sit down with aboriginal leaders and develop a system whereby for minor offences, people get referred to a council of aboriginal elders for judgement.

    There would have to be strict guidelines about what constitutes referable matters and the types of judgements the council could impose. It would also need the support of the aboriginal community to be effective.

    If it means keeping aboriginal people out of prison for minor issues and helping prevent people from becoming institutionalised offenders, then I think it could have a positive outcome.
     
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  14. Stoffo

    Stoffo Well-Known Member

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    There have been instances where the judicial system has worked with and referred offenders back to the elders to be disciplined, trouble is there isn't the sense of community or elders around to do much (generally, across the country).

    Society needs to improve and educate
    The courts need to treat all equally (regardless of race, colour or "statistics").
    The government needs to stop handing money out to kids (too many options and choices available, stay at home, go to school, get a job then make your own choices!)

    In general modern suburbia every kid faces challenges growing up, it is the ongoing choices made and the path they walk that decides their future.
    Every parent is required by law to send their kids to school and are legally liable for their actions up to 18yo (being an adult), but you can't get them to do much past 13yo because "they have rights too" !

    Hanging with the wrong crowd was where our issues started (with the second eldest), pregnant at 15, again at 16, and a mum at 17 and hasn't seen her 2.5yo in the last 5 months ! She is a heavy influence on her younger brother (30 months younger) and he has followed in her path, he gets the dole and she uses it to buy them drugs ! They have stolen from us various times :(

    Sure the parents can have an influence, their dad is a below average Joe, but their mum is educated, working and still studying. We tried everything, from bribery (clothes, trips and finally money) to grounding and technology removal, they say all the right things but turn around and gone.....:confused:

    I also know a few that have good respectable lives :cool:

    For the record, I have a better tan than the kids (and their dad), and I own and play all 4 didgeridoo I have where as none of them can play :p.
     
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  15. random

    random Well-Known Member

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    As l've been saying 20 yrs , they need their peoples care completely given back to them and they should be handling it all, and all their other affairs and future . lt all should be theirs but instead what they get is just a politer version of what they've always gotten and their lives and world still being ran and controlled by white men in Canberra .
    lt's just sad. And nope , unfortunately their deaths in custody and Australias reputation for the way it treats the Aboriginal people is known world wide.
     
  16. SeafordSunshine

    SeafordSunshine Well-Known Member

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    I used to go picking up kiddies from the Cross and taking them home.
    In an unmarked car..
    The ones who made me cry were the ones who didn't was to go home.:oops:
     
  17. skater

    skater Well-Known Member

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    This is something that I believe too. There are too many that treat people differently based on race, religion or skin colour. AND don't get me started on the money given to kids. Living in a low socio area for eleven years, the amount of money the kids get is ridiculous. I remember well the arguments I used to have with my kids around money. One especially was very bitter that we wouldn't give her enough pocket money. All the kids with parents on Centrelink were cashed up, yet ours had to have part-time jobs to get substantially LESS than them.

    They are taught all about 'rights' but nothing about 'responsibilities' at school. And they like to call the adult's at 18, but if at 18, they don't want a job, you have to support them until they're 24. How about some consistencies? Are they an adult at 18, or 24? Although one left home at 18 & was very motivated, the other one was not so motivated, until I told her in no uncertain terms that she would have to get dressed for work each day and leave home by 8.30am, and not come home until 5.00pm (liked to stay in her room all day on the computer). She quickly found a job after that.

    The wrong crowd is one of the biggest issues we had as well. No matter what you do, it's hard when you can't control the quality of their friends. I feel for you.

    I don't agree with you. Saying 'white men in Canberra' indicates that all politicians are white, which is not true. List of Indigenous Australian politicians - Wikipedia

    There are many, many upstanding indigenous citizens living exemplary lives in this country. They go to work, buy homes, have children and completely fit in with society and the laws of this land. Then you have the ones that play the victim, do not fit in with society, etc, again, just like white people. I don't know what the solution is, but giving them special laws or conditions isn't the answer.

    I think tribal elders in areas where they live outside of large cities, in the outback, etc they do need the care of their own people.
     
  18. random

    random Well-Known Member

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    Yeah l know , but not enough to have much control they should have control their own Canbera in their form in the outback or wherever they can be who they are.
    Not special laws and conditions , give it back , just like the song , they make their own laws and conditions. l've heard the elders say this .
    Who says it's not the answer , could be the answer God knows anything we've tried doesn't work.
     
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  19. Stoffo

    Stoffo Well-Known Member

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    That is a double edged sword !
    Even today their are active and recognised aboriginal tribes that cover a great portion of this land.
    Good luck with saying give it back like the song :confused:
    Govco actually pays to lease back area's already handed back, to do what you are proposing would mean every immigrant living or dead and their descendants would need to be put on a boat and "sent back" :rolleyes:
    Leaving a culture that is neither traditional or completely modernized with extensive infrastructure and no population o_O
    You/we can't just say "yep go do what you want now" after generation's of interference, just dropping the culture now would be as harsh as the invasion :(
     
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  20. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    There is no easy solution - or it would've already been made. Was extremely disappointed to see the federal government cast aside (with barely a glance) the "Statement from the Heart" document, that the First People elders had work so hard on articulating and explaining and requesting

    If we want meaningful change, we need to meet halfway - we shouldn't expect our Aboriginals to come all the way over to "white fella" side and be dominated by our historical genetic culture, their ingrained genetic culture needs to be recognised and is just as legitimate
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jun, 2020
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