Bob: It seems we all agree that minor crimes do …

Comment on LETTER: Taking no prisoners by Hal Duell.

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?

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
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.


Recent Comments by Hal Duell

Kids in the justice system: The stark numbers
“But nobody seems to be able to work out why.”
Could it be because so many of the offenders are raised in overtly racist households where they are taught from when infants that all things Indigenous are superior to all things mainstream? For the child, the first casualty of this would be schooling and a respect for the possibilities that schooling offers.
And then when they get a bit older and come hard up against the unavoidable absurdity of what they have been taught, and realise that they are not only uneducated and ignorant but likely to remain uneducated and ignorant, anger and resentment give rise to a lashing out and a pathetic if understandable attempt to cry the victim?
“You owe me.” No, lad or lass, we don’t owe you, but your parents and early childhood mentors surely do.


Transport Hall fiasco may revive pressure groups
Last Saturday my wife and I went to a matinee showing at the Alice Cinema.
On exiting the cinema, our two hour free parking limit had expired so we went into Alice Plaza to pay the fare.
On coming out we were met with a ring of aggressive youths bristling with attitude whose gauntlet we were forced to run to gain access to our parked car.
Steve has it right. We are getting back to those days of Claire Martin levels of social dysfunction in Alice.
And from what I have seen, Darwin simply couldn’t care less.


Jacinta Price reneges on council undertaking
There was talk at one time that Nigel Scullion was getting tired of being a Senator, and that Jacinta was in line to take on that job. Something happen?
Anyway, now she says she wants to take on Snowdon in Lingiari? Good luck with that. Warren has done nothing for thirty years except win an election every three years. He’s good at it.
The $100,000 price tag for a by-election is an own goal. There are ways around it, if the Minister in charge of local government would care to consider them. Such as, offer the job to the last excluded candidate polling at least 3% of the primary vote at the previous election.


Town council’s unanimous ‘no’ to fracking
Further to my first post, if the Alice Springs Town Council could combine with the MacDonnell Shire, Barkly Shire and the Central Desert Shire to present a united anti-fracking stand, their combined voices might carry a bit more weight.
I don’t know what the other shires stand on this issue is. Have they debated it? Anyone?


Let’s have an Australia Day when we are ready for it
Maybe I should start going to Council meetings again, if for no other reason than to enjoy the fireworks.
Reading the preceding comments, I am once again convinced that the whole Facebook phenomenon is a truly nasty piece of gear.
Why anyone would go there, would pay it the slightest bit of attention, is beyond me.


Be Sociable, Share!