The following passage is drawn from “Do Indigenous Youth Have …

Comment on Most comprehensive overhaul of youth justice system: Gunner by Bob Beadman.

The following passage is drawn from “Do Indigenous Youth Have a Dream” published in 2004:
What is absolutely clear is that incarceration does not operate as a deterrent, particularly for youth.
Others have written about how a stint in the Don Dale Juvenile Detention Centre in Darwin is now, sadly, a rite (right?) of passage to manhood for some remote communities.
I have written about the attractions of a dry bed, colour TV, three good meals a day, air-conditioning, and a well equipped gymnasium, being a highly attractive alternative to being flood-bound in a remote place for the wet season.
I have also pointed out that offending rates soar around November, supporting my contention (perhaps I’m wrong, and it simply represents the onset of the Mango Madness season).
I have argued for boot camps, in the bush, building cattle yards or roads, on hard tucker like salt beef and damper (or catch your own), sleeping in swags, and supervised by hoary old lore men.
That might be a deterrent to offending, and it might reduce the gaol populations whilst restoring community pride too.
I know communities that want to take on such responsibility.

Recent Comments by Bob Beadman

‘Resetting the button’ of Aboriginal men’s identity
Thank you. Stories like this rekindle hope.


Fracking forum with surprising rules
You should have stayed on Erwin, as trying as that might have been.
Justice Pepper is reported as having rejected the claims that Origin had misled the Inquiry, and expressed the panel’s concern that Lock The Gate had not fully withdrawn and apologised for its evidence in Darwin.
That would have balanced your reporting.


CDP work for the dole scheme gets a hammering
I enter this minefield reluctantly, and only to bring people back to earth.
Surely the key features of such a scheme should be to:
• Create a system of MUTUAL OBLIGATION, a requirement that ‘you do something (pt work) in return for what your neighbour provides to you’ (welfare payments).
• Address the horrendous social consequences of idleness.
Instead the scheme seems to have become PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 101.
Overpromoted and overregulated to the extent that everyone can find something to fault. It was never an employment agency, or a work incubator, or getting people work ready. That spin may have a place in the cities, but never in the bush where there is a very limited employment market.
A short history. Training Allowances were replaced with Unemployment Benefits in the mid 1970s.
Aborigines couldn’t believe that the Government preferred to pay them to sit down rather than to work.
Communities deteriorated, and pleaded that Unemployment Benefits be aggregated. CDEP was born.
A percentage was added for materials, and another for administration, and the number of particpants inflated.
Government capped numbers, introduced a Remote Area Exemption (from the work test), mixed CDEP and UB (with the obvious resentments arising), fiddled further, abandoned CDEP, and then introduced RJCP (described by some as the greatest public policy train wreck ever), then CDP.
In considering improvements to CDP, everyone must be mindful that CDEP had become a destination, rather than a step up. And it had become a suppressant on the creation of real jobs – councils, schools and health clinics (and others) could borrow staff at will rather than seek appropriate budgets for their needs.
Looking to the near future, when the country can no longer afford the current welfare net, I think every child needs to see a parent working, to replace the idea that Government will keep them for life too.


Land rights campaigner, atomic blast survivor remembered
A wonderful man. He enriched the world.


Dick Kimber: premier scholar of Central Australia
This wonderful tribute to an extraordinary man required the touch of a rare journalist – one with deep knowledge, and empathy. We are very fortunate to have both of you.


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