Young Aborigines are 17 times more likely to be in detention than other Australians, and they are coming into the system at a much younger age, figures show.
The latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare youth justice report found that although only 5 percent of people aged 10 to 17 are Aboriginal, they make up almost half of those under youth justice supervision.
The report has prompted calls from legal and human rights groups to increase the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14.
Human Rights Law Centre legal director Ruth Barson said it was “common sense” that children should be in playgrounds and classrooms, not prisons.
“Laws that see children as young as 10 behind bars are out of touch with common decency. Australia is lagging behind the rest of the world,” she said.
The report found 39 percent of young Aborigines were between 10 and 13 when they first came into the justice system, compared with only 15 percent of non-indigenous young people.
Change the Record — an Aboriginal-led coalition of legal, human rights and justice organizations — has called for national justice targets in the Closing the Gap strategy.
“Australia should be ashamed that the youth justice gap for our kids is widening,” Closing the Gap cochair Damian Griffis said.
The overall number and rate of young people entering juvenile justice has declined. There were about 5,500 young people under supervision on an average day from 2017 to last year, down from more than 6,250 five years previously.
Indigenous people made up close to half (48 percent) of those aged between 10 and 17 under community-based supervision and more than half (56 percent) of those in detention.
Cheryl Axleby, also a Change the Record cochair, said that the research showed that raising the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14 was necessary to end the over-incarceration of children.
“It shows serious systemic flaws when compared with non-Indigenous kids,” Axleby said.
The report found that 60 percent of children in prison were there on remand, awaiting sentence or had been denied bail.
“Our children are being criminalized for being poor at alarming rates,” Axleby said. “Most children are in prison on remand, and this is linked to the lack of public housing for Aboriginal people.”
“The next government needs to free our future by providing adequate public housing and the wraparound, Indigenous-run services that we know our kids need,” she said.
Aboriginal young people were over-represented in youth justice supervision in every state and territory, with the highest level of over-representation in Western Australia, where young Aborigines were 27 times as likely to be in the system than non-indigenous children.
An Australian university student who has never visited China and has only a modest social media following would seem an unlikely target for the Chinese government. However, when a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman personally denounced Drew Pavlou at a news conference, it was just the next phase in an extraordinary campaign against the 21-year-old that has fueled concerns over China’s targeting of critics overseas. Pavlou first placed himself in the superpower’s sights when in July last year he organized a small sit-in at the University of Queensland, where he studies, to protest against various Chinese government policies. Since then, the Global
‘ASKED TO MOVE OUT’: Indonesian coast guard personnel argued with a Chinese vessel over territorial claims after it entered the country’s exclusive economic zone An Indonesian patrol ship confronted a Chinese coast guard vessel that spent almost three days in waters where Indonesia claims economic rights and that are near the southernmost part of China’s disputed claims to the South China Sea. The Indonesian Maritime Security Agency on Friday night detected Chinese ship 5204 entering Indonesia’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in what Indonesia calls the North Natuna Sea. The agency sent a patrol ship that closed within 1km of the Chinese coast guard vessel and they communicated to affirm their position and their nation’s claims to the area, Indonesian Maritime Security Agency head Aan Kurnia said. “We
BEFORE WINTER COMES: Snow cuts off roads into Ladakh for four months or more each year, so the crunch is on to get food, tents and high-altitude equipment to Leh From deploying mules to large transport aircraft, the Indian military has activated its entire logistics network to transport supplies to thousands of troops for a harsh winter along a bitterly disputed Himalayan border with China. In the past few months, one of India’s biggest military logistics exercises in years has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh, a region bordering Tibet that India administers as a union territory, officials said. The move was triggered by a border standoff with China in the snow deserts of Ladakh that began in May and escalated in June into hand-to-hand
Dark matter, mysterious invisible stuff that makes up most of the mass of galaxies, including the Milky Way, is confounding scientists again, with new observations of distant galaxies conflicting with the current understanding of its nature. Research published this week revealed an unexpected discrepancy between observations of dark matter concentrations in three massive clusters of galaxies encompassing trillions of stars and theoretical computer simulations of how dark matter should be distributed. “Either there is a missing ingredient in the simulations or we have made a fundamental incorrect assumption about the nature of dark matter,” Yale University astrophysicist Priyamvada Natarajan, a coauthor of