keywords: Prisons

  • AUSTRALIA

    Australia's low road to the Security State

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 30 April 2015
    33 Comments

    Only extremists regard Muslims as enemies. But if a populist and incompetent government were to scapegoat them and declare them to be enemies, as was done to asylum seekers, it would be a short step to build on the laws already introduced with further discriminatory legislation. That in turn would lessen the protections under the law that other groups would enjoy. Of course, this could never happen in Australia. But that is what they once said in Germany, Chile and South Africa.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The wisdom of humane prison design

    • Mathew Drogemuller
    • 24 April 2015
    5 Comments

    The tougher the prison is, the tougher the prisoners will get, just to survive. Then, when they are released, all they know is crime and the only people they know are criminals with no money. But it doesn't have to be that way, as Norway's 'no bars' Halden facility demonstrates with its ensuites and flat screen TVs that mirror life 'on the outside' as far as possible.

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  • The questionable good that our public policy serves

    • Elenie Poulos
    • 02 April 2015
    4 Comments

    Humans have always pursued wealth and the power it affords, but only relatively recently has the world itself become organised around the service of that wealth. The systems and structures which define the way our world works are financial, geared to the making of profit. They are global and buoyed by governments whose domestic and foreign policies ensure their support. ‘Social good’ and the ‘common good’ are assumed to be economic neoliberalism, and what’s in the ‘public interest’ is whatever advances the neoliberal economic agenda.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Indigenous youth pay price for ’get tough on crime’ election promise

    • Mathew Drogemuller
    • 31 March 2015
    6 Comments

    The WA premier plans to increase mandatory prison sentences for burglars. Mandatory sentencing regimes fail to take into account the underlying causes of the crimes they seek to punish. They remove a judge’s discretion to avoid a sentence of imprisonment, and fail to address the reality that such crimes reflect social problems that ensue from racial discrimination and colonial dispossession.  

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Libs take some image advice from Mad Men's Don Draper

    • Jim McDermott
    • 02 March 2015

    The inner sanctum of the Prime Minister’s office, filled with smoke. DON DRAPER sits in a chair, cigarette in one hand, tumbler of Scotch in the other. Across, Prime Minister TONY ABBOTT. Around them, members of his cabinet. GREG HUNT (coughing weakly): We really don't allow smoking in here. CHRISTOPHER PYNE: Plus, how do you still look so good? It’s 2015. Draper turns Pyne's way. His eyes glitter like steel. DON: Really, that's what you want to talk about right now, my looks? TONY: Now listen, Don, I did it all just like you said. Pushed up the spill motion to keep the momentum from building, said I would be more consultative, got on with the business of governing. And yet two weeks later ... Read more

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The view from outside glass house Australia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 January 2015
    24 Comments

    Complaints about hypocrisy are rarely edifying. But it’s not so easy to dismiss the charge of a Jakarta Post opinion writer that Canberra is trying to save Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan from the firing squad ‘while slowly disposing of “abject bodies” it does not want through inhumane detention camps or returning them to foreign regimes that will probably finish the job for them’. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Bad Christmases are nothing new

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 18 December 2014
    16 Comments

    Shady family members who turn up uninvited, unresolved sibling rivalries, end of working year pressures. In a way they recall the organisational disarray of the first Christmas... A rocky engagement, the man discovering that his fiancée was pregnant with a child that was not his, a long march to fill in tax forms, having to give birth in a paddock and suffer an invasion from disreputable shepherds and odd foreigners.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Harper Review's new world of public service for profit

    • Julie Edwards
    • 28 November 2014
    8 Comments

    Professor Ian Harper's Competition Policy Review could lead to radical change in the public services in which our governments invest over $184 billion (or 12.1 per cent of GDP) each year. Time-honoured public service values that include citizenship, fairness, justice, representation and participation, are threatened when services are seen as products that can be broken up and sold on the market. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The unfolding logic of euthanasia

    • Zac Alstin
    • 06 October 2014
    33 Comments

    A Belgian court recently granted permission for a psychiatrically ill prisoner to be euthanised. Having worked in bioethics, I find it hard to avoid a morbid fascination with the gradual unfurling of euthanasia in nations where it has had a chance to become firmly established. While members of the public are usually shocked to hear of each new milestone, from an ethical perspective there are no real surprises.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A Woman from the Provinces

    • Xiao Xiao
    • 16 September 2014
    2 Comments

    The woman from the provinces must have disturbed someone. Listen: the noise from below the Square. Countless faces aslant, breathing heavily. Rusting in the shell of broken words.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thanks for nothing, Adam and Eve

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 04 September 2014
    13 Comments

    James Boyce claims that contemporary attitudes to politics, human origins, economics and human psychology can be understood only if we recognise the hidden presuppositions imported from the theology of original sin. Theories on human nature such as those proposed by Adam Smith, Sigmund Freud, Richard Dawkins and the US Founding Fathers, tried to emancipate people from religious ideas, but often unwittingly enshrined them.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Love creates space for restorative justice

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 22 May 2014
    12 Comments

    For the good of victims and the community prisoners need to find the space in which they can feel remorse for the harm they have done, reflect on and change the patterns of life that contributed to the crime, and come to act accountably. To include love in penal justice may seem impossible. But recently in court a man was sentenced to jail for dangerous driving that led to the death of a young woman. Her father then embraced the driver.

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