I know it’s more information than we usually get, but …

Comment on LETTER: Taking no prisoners by Hal Duell.

I know it’s more information than we usually get, but it might tell part of the story if we knew:
1 What is the crime?
2 Is he/she a recidivist?
3 Did (does) he/she go to school?
4 Where is he/she from?
5 Does he/she live in a house?
One year ago most of us in Alice were horrified to see what was happening on our streets, that is if we were out and about late at night or early in the AM. At that time I had an early morning job and going by KFC and over the Stott Tce bridge was scary enough in a motorcar. It was truly scary on a bicycle.
Now a police blitz is arresting crims (they are not being arrested for doing nothing), and our lockups are running out of room. This is not surprising, and while being locked up in crowded conditions is no fun, just maybe there’s a lesson there: Prison is not fun – think about it.
About my five questions:
1 After an initial wake-up jolt, minor crimes don’t deserve extended prison time.
2 Recidivists probably deserve to do some time.
3 I ask about schooling because I would like to know.
4/5 I ask about where from and houses to suggest the alternative to prison of home or community detention.

Hal Duell Also Commented

LETTER: Taking no prisoners
Crime in Alice Springs is associated with alcohol, almost every time, whether in acts of public disorder or major crimes like murder and arson. And yet whenever alcohol restrictions are mentioned, the ensuing debate would spin a wind turbine.
You are right, I do support restrictions. Nationally I would like to see a volumetric tax, and locally I would like to see three take-away free days. My nominations would be Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I’m not holding my breath for either development.
The lack of adequate funding for alternatives to prison extend across Australia. An article by Graeme Innes in today’s Fairfax papers points out that in 2007-2008, Australia spent over $2 billion on prisons. That statistic in now four years old,
but I have no doubt current figures will have kept up. The total equated then to $269 per prisoner per day. My guess is it would cost more today.
This is a lack of government imagination, a misuse of public money, a spinning of bureaucratic wheels. We’re wasting a chance.
I also think that anyone living in Alice Springs has a part to play. It doesn’t matter if you are a local Aranda, a Melbourne shusher, from the Pit homelands, an African refugee, a Warlpiri or a tradie on a tear. Alice Springs is an urban center. We all need to pull our socks up.


LETTER: Taking no prisoners
Bob: It seems we all agree that minor crimes do not deserve prison sentences. I still wonder about recidivists, and especially chronic recidivists, but we can leave that for another day.
And thank you for your observations about education levels. It’s about what I imagined them to be. This reinforces my view that more education is needed. Hopefully the new Federal initiatives will help bring that about. Hopefully.
But here’s a question: If there is no home in Alice Springs, and the arrested person is in town because they are estranged from their own communities, then how is the our urban society supposed to deal with these law breakers? If prison is too draconian, and home or community detention not possible, and programs are all too often still in the planning or waiting funding, what happens today and tomorrow?


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Raw deal for Alice from NTG & Murdoch Advocate
There is a glaring omission in this Anzac precinct story, and that’s the why of it. We have two successful politicians in Gunner and Ryan insisting that theirs is the better offer, but they have yet to give us a compelling reason to follow them.
Through their stubborness they have turned the proposed art gallery into a political football, a local tug-of-war, and to what end?
Can the Heritage Council get the question of the oval’s and the school’s heritage value onto their agenda, and then seek a court order prohibiting any moves until their heritage value is resolved?


Morrison announces cash injection for NT
In other words, frack and you can have your money back.
Now we know.


‘Anzac Oval not for sale’: govt under pressure on gallery plans
After walking over the proposed site for the new rugby oval(s) and appreciating again from a close perspective the majesty of the MacDonnell rampart, I wonder the area was not considered for the art gallery in the first place.
And then with the millions saved by not building a new oval, build a three or four story apartment complex in the Todd Mall. Scotty’s might be a good place to start.
If life is what’s wanted and needed to revitalise the CBD, people living there will do it.


Fracking OK, but under ‘strict laws’ – Gunner
From the moment Gunner failed to give an unequivocal NO to fracking during the last election, we all knew this was going to happen. It was just a matter of time.


‘Anzac Oval not for sale’: govt under pressure on gallery plans
I write this as an appeal to Chief Minister Gunner to reconsider his choice of the Anzac area as the location for the proposed National Aboriginal Art Gallery.
Not only did your own steering committee nominate the Desert Park as the optimal choice, but ever since your overriding of their recommendation, the wheels have been coming off what was once a project that had everyone on board.
Many in Alice recognize the heritage value of the old Anzac High School and the Anzac Oval, and while neither carries official heritage listing, I understand efforts are being made to rectify that.
Yes, it would be possible to relocate the rugby fields of Anzac Oval, but at what addition to the cost of building the proposed gallery?
I suggest the final nail in the coffin of public indifference regarding this issue was the published plans to do away with a car park that many who work in the CBD use every day.
The score so far seems to be the destruction of a still valuable building of heritage value and of an oval of similar value, the cost of a new rugby stadium and the cost of a new car park. And all that before construction on a new gallery can begin.
I ask you to please reconsider the Desert Park, as that choice would mean no valuable building to take down, and neither a new car park nor a new stadium needed. I suggest this would be a better choice both economically and politically. Not only would the project cost less, but it would not alienate any of your supporters in Alice Springs.
I will close with a cautionary note to the Gunner ALP government in Darwin: When you next come to town to consult, please don’t repeat your mistake of thinking Central Australia is fly over country.


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