Amnesty International calls on Minister of Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion to work with states and territories fund and support Indigenous-run prevention, diversion and rehabilitation programs for children in the justice system.
The Northern Territory’s only alternative to detention, Bushmob, has announced it will end a bushcamp, trialled for 14-months, due to lack of support from the Northern Territory government on critical infrastructure and operational issues.
“The horrors coming out of the Royal Commission show that the Northern Territory Government needs to be supporting more alternatives to youth detention, not shutting them down.”
Roxanne Moore, Indigenous Rights Campaigner.
“The horrors coming out of the Royal Commission show that the Northern Territory Government needs to be supporting more alternatives to youth detention, not shutting them down,” said Roxanne Moore, Indigenous Rights Campaigner.
“Indigenous-run solutions work because communities understand what will help their kids when they get stuck in the quicksand of the justice system. Minister Scullion must partner with states and territories to fund and support these community programs, as part of a national action plan on youth justice.”
Inquiries dating back to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody in 1991, to the recent interim report of the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory, have highlighted the importance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led prevention, diversion and rehabilitation programs.
Bushmob, an Aboriginal organisation focussed on rehabilitating young people through work with animals and connection to culture, has helped children including Dylan Voller, who suffered horrific abuse at Don Dale.
Dylan appeared last week on ABC’s Q&A and asked: “Why can’t we have more detainees from the juvenile centre to go there [to Bushmob] where they can work with horses and learn to build instead of sitting in a cell with no rehabilitation?”
“With abuses of children in detention right around the country – from Don Dale, Cleveland, Bimberi and Reiby – it is a critical time for federal leadership to overhaul the injustice system to instead focus on supporting children, their families and communities,” said Roxanne Moore.