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

Open doors, not flogging, will reduce juvenile offending
If only it were so.
As much as I respect the years’ long dedicated work this author has contributed to youth issues in Central Australia, foremost among which being his largely successful work in eliminating the scourge of petrol sniffing out on the Homelands, here I think he is glossing over the issue. “Naughty” not only doesn’t begin to cover it, but is both misleading and trivializing.
The kids in question here are not naughty, but actual criminals engaged in criminal activities.
I, too, have seen Tangentyere Day Patrol on our streets this summer engaging with youth on the streets, and I applaud their efforts. And I have long supported the Gap Youth Centre as a community effort to engage and support youth in the Gap.
But once it and other dedicated outreach centres close for the night, what happens then?
Many go home to what homes they have, but a significant minority do not.
They roam the streets knowing full well that any interaction with the NT Police will be one-sided in their favour.
The police are obliged to back down once any confrontation with under-aged youth takes place. And don’t the kids just know it!
The sad truth is that the line of departing families is growing, while those of us who are staying rely on tall fences, locked gates and barking dogs to ensure out safety and well-being. And until someone, anyone and I don’t care who, can deal effectively with this current and local scourge, the fences, gates and dogs will remain.


What REALLY goes on in our streets: Youth worker
As happens so often these days, Jacinta Price stands tall as an example of a concerned Australian talking common sense. Family responsibility seems to be her mantra when discussing the social ills bedeviling Alice.
And we all know she is right, all that is except for those denizens of the politically correct swamp who would rather further fracture as opposed to heal. They remind me of nothing so much as baby chicks still in the nest, impotent little wings flapping, beaks open and a chorus of gimme gimme gimme gimme.
Walking around town, especially through the shopping centres and the hospital, and the conclusion that this is an Indigenous town is inescapable.
No problem there, but what this means is that the way forward not only has to come from them, but it can only come from them.
Our Town Council would do well to recognize this. Otherwise they risk being consigned to the status of an irrelevant elite watching from behind their fences as our town burns.
And let’s not even talk about Darwin. They may hold immense power over us, but without question they are as useless as teats on a bull.


Lasseters private enterprise beacon in stagnant town
I’m with Scotty on this one. If New Year’s Eve was anything to go by, Animal Bar is putting it mildly.
If Lasseters is having trouble coping with its clientele, they might think about taking a page out of the Gap Hotel’s playbook. Multi-ethnic, multi-racial and zero humbug. An example well worth considering.
And as to John Bell’s suggestion that an irresistible offer from China for Uluru is not far off, if the Vietnamese can gain a 99 year concession to run Angkor Wat, which I was told was the case when I visited Cambodia a couple years ago, then this might not be such a far fetched idea.


Local government: A lot of action beyond the 3Rs
@ Leigh Childs, Posted December 18, 2017 at 8:05 pm: Yes, but not for some years now. And I agree that Broken Hill’s size, history and location make it a much better fit for comparison to Alice than does Murray Bridge.
What I remember is an interesting town on the road between east and west (Alice is between north and south), a hub for the surrounding area, a sculpture park on the top of a hill, the uncanny familiarity of nearby Mutawintji National Park, and marveling at how the local government managed to build all the infrastructure even a small town needs with steep hills and a hard rock base to work with, at least in the central area.
Good point. They seemed to be in the process of reinventing themselves in the years when I was passing through, and it’s good to think they have kept going.


Town still upset with Stuart statue, say researchers
Long live Stuart the Explorer and Two-Up the Bunny! Long may they stand with the Undoolya Perenti as monuments to Alice Springs’ artistic identity.
More would be better. Where is the Indigenous hero to join Stuart along Stuart Terrace? We all know Council would fall over themselves to balance the story being told there.
Mark Egan has created a couple of outstanding examples up the track at Aileron, but whether he would again willingly venture into the hotbed of PC naval gazing that seems to be the default atmosphere here is another question.


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