Treatment of youths in NT prisons makes national, world news

p2252-Adam-GilesBy ERWIN CHLANDA

 

Chief Minister Adam Giles (pictured) took over the portfolio of Correctional Services from John Elferink yesterday amidst public outrage over treatment of young people in NT prisons – now an issue that is making news around the world.

 

Mr Giles said in a statement that the NT Police has started a major investigation and his government would collaborate in a Royal Commission announced by the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

 

“I have made it clear that I want the Royal Commission to look into the whole of the youth justice system, not just the issue of youth detention. I think it’s important that we look at the child protection system, not just youth detention,” said Mr Giles.

 

He also announced that the Territory Government will build a new youth detention facility and set up a new prison farm at Mataranka Station “to give the justice system an alternative option to custodial detention”.

 

Said Mr Giles: “I am concerned about the level of faith the community now has in the Department of Corrections. A culture of cover up exists in this department. I intend to appoint an independent Inspector General for Corrections.”

 

p2046-Nigel-Scullion-3All this, of course, will be depending on the re-election of the Giles Government on August 27.

 

Meanwhile Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion (at left) says he is “deeply shocked and appalled.

 

“We need to establish why the two investigations into the incidents alleged to have occurred in the Northern Territory’s Don Dale Youth Detention Centre on 21 August, 2014, failed to uncover the evidence presented by Four Corners,” says Senator Scullion.

 

p2327-Dalton-Dupuy-SM

Dalton Dupuy (at right), NT Greens’ candidate for the Chief Minister’s seat of Braitling, has called for Mr Giles to stand down.

 

“Mr Giles, this happened on your watch and you covered it up,” said Mr Dupuy. “You have brought shame upon all Territorians. Show some courage Mr Giles and step down, you no longer have the right to govern.

 

“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice commissioner Mick Gooda called for the Federal government to sack the NT government.

 

“But if the Prime Minister won’t, Territorians will at the end of August.”

 

 

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3 Comments (starting with the most recent)

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  1. Peter
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Didn’t NTG mistreat the animals on Mataranka Station?
    Build a new jail. No mention of how much or where or when.
    Build a new prison farm. No talk about how much or when.
    They built one of those a few years ago. It cost $12m. The keys are still swinging in the doors.
    It was announced that NTG would not be expanding the work camp system.
    Adam is concerned about the culture of cover-up in Corrections. What about that same culture in Health, Education, Police, DCF or any other NTG department you wish to name, especially DCM?
    Nigel, meanwhile, is apparently “deeply shocked and appalled” that anyone actually watches the ABC.
    Meanwhile, I can’t quite convince myself that this whole thing wasn’t actually leaked by someone in the CLP.
    The thought that they would win an election by proving to the world that they torture children is no crazier than anything else they have done in the last four years.

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  2. Paul Parker
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Children reflect the community around them.
    The detention environment results from the Commonwealth’s experimental apartheid policies, tampering with policy and financial agreements since in 1978 NT achieved limited self-government: Direct impacts from the apartheid style of different standards of rights, responsibilities and accountability, enforced and promoted ongoing by the Commonwealth Parliament, governments from both sides, which have contributed considerably to failing to thrive communities.
    The recent NT Government policy appears to be for employment determined firstly using racial identification which may replace capability as primary qualification.
    IF they are serious about increasing employment create trainee positions, particularly for youths seeking to learn.
    Appears Dalton Dupuy and the Greens support the existing racist apartheid policies.
    .
    Re: Christine Posted July 27, 2016 at 10:58 am
    IMHO both Commonwealth and NT governments are well aware of the reports, neither is sure what to do … other than change course.

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  3. Christine
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Mr Scullion, why indeed you may ask how this has only come to light now. Seems to me that the NT Government was aware of it and did very little if anything to address it.
    It also seems that lots of issues are not addressed at all until there is a high profile expose occurs from media that makes it an issue – why is that?

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