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

Town Council riven by conflict, lack of leadership
Just after midnight last night I was returning home from a shift stocking shelves, and I decided to travel up Gap Road. Suddenly, WHOOSH!, a wagon wheel passed me.
And I thought to myself, ‘Self, I wonder what wagon that wheel has just come off of?’


No ‘comprehensive business case’ yet for gallery
I think that whether the art gallery is eventually built somewhere in Alice or, as seems more and more likely, in Adelaide, the whole exercise will go down as a textbook study in how NOT to progress a major project.
I don’t know what this means for the Gunner government, but the longer he pushes it, the more the fable of Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby spring to mind.


Panel of just two for controversial Ilparpa decision
What! A social engagement with the PM in preference to a local issue that really matters. Onya, Jimmie and Jamie, ya pair of wannabees.


Cr Melky breaks silence on Code of Conduct complaints 
Onya, Rex. If ever there is a local theatrical adaptation of The Silver Skates I hope you take the leading role.


And now, your friendly neighbourhood prison
This facility is on my morning dog walk, so I’ve watch it go up.
The first clue as to its purpose was when contractors came in to cut down all the trees. What’s going on here?
And then I realised they were removing any branches that could overhang the inner fence. Then came the security cameras and, voila, a neighbourhood prison.
All good, I guess.
Except this morning the gate was open and swinging in the breeze. It looks like someone didn’t need those overhanging branches after all.


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