keywords: Prisons

  • INTERNATIONAL

    Obama's cannabis defence illuminates NSW booze laws

    • Ruby Hamad
    • 03 February 2014
    7 Comments

    In a nation still divided bitterly along race lines, blacks, and to a lesser extent Hispanics, bear the brunt of America's prisons-for-profit program. The perils of mandatory sentencing should serve as a warning to NSW, which has announced mandatory minimum sentences as a response to alcohol-fuelled violence. The question is not which drug is more dangerous, but how society chooses to deal with each one and why.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Bikie laws sicken civil liberties

    • Binoy Kampmark
    • 28 October 2013
    18 Comments

    Political commentator Malcolm Farr, a bike enthusiast, noted that many bikies are indeed 'frauds', 'thugs' and 'grubs'. The medicine on offer in Queensland and other states, however, is bound to kill that frail patient known as civil liberties. What is being touted is a police state response, rather than a measured, legal program. And broad brush strokes in legal responses tend to be disastrous.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Human stories of criminal monsters

    • Joe Caddy
    • 25 October 2013
    19 Comments

    For 11 years I worked as a chaplain in a maximum security prison. I would meet inmates who were accused of serious crimes that had shocked the community. In coming to know those who stood accused I came to see that they too had a story. More often than not it included enormous deprivation and sadness. They had relationships that they cherished, and I never met anyone who in their heart did not want their circumstances to be better.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Relationships key to mental illness treatment

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 October 2013
    9 Comments

    Although medical and psychological discoveries and better regulation have improved the treatment of mental illness in Australia, the need still outweighs the resources available. People with mental illnesses need others to help them build and develop relationships if they are to thrive. But the same trends that help the better treatment of people also tell against the crucial building of relationships.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    The ethics of paternalism in Aboriginal policy

    • Callum Denness
    • 25 September 2013
    3 Comments

    Following the abuse received by Adam Goodes from a teenage spectator in the AFL's Indigenous round, and the subsequent remarks made by Eddie McGuire, the country became embroiled in a debate about racism in modern Australia. Meanwhile, the Northern Territory introduced its Mandatory Alcohol Treatment Bill which, if passed, will see more Aboriginal people incarcerated. We were too busy describing the modern face of racism to notice.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Treating people well in Abbott's Australia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 12 September 2013
    40 Comments

    On the asylum seeker issue there is little to be gained in indulging resentment against the Prime Minister and the Coalition except the sour consolations of self-righteousness. The real challenge is to persuade our fellow Australians that each person matters, not because of the choices they make or the qualities they possess, but because they are human, and that a society is measured by the quality of its relationships.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    When punishment fails

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 29 August 2013
    10 Comments

    ABC employee Jill Meagher was murdered by a man who had been granted parole while serving his sentence for a previous violent sexual crime. The largest threat to the security of the community comes from a view that sees punishment entirely in retributive terms. Unless the human development of prisoners is seen as central, imprisonment simply begets further risk. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Community sector sickened by managerial mindset

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 15 August 2013
    10 Comments

    Although community organisations are often a burr in the saddle of a managerially minded government, they are important because they represent a humane vision and because they can reflect back to government an intimate experience of what is happening to the people whom they serve. Their advocacy, even when unwanted, keeps governments in touch with human needs.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Liam Jurrah and the Northern Territory's jail-fail

    • Mike Bowden
    • 29 July 2013
    13 Comments

    AFL footballer Liam Jurrah had his prison sentence for an assault conviction reduced to three months. Hopefully he will not be too harmed by his experience, and afterwards may be given the chance to recommence his football career. But the conditions confronting his cousins and brothers will not change. In the NT there is a troubling confluence between harsher penalties and increasing incarceration rates.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Humiliation at the heart of homelessness

    • John Falzon
    • 18 June 2013
    13 Comments

    Recent ABS data reveals NT has both the highest rate of people experiencing homelessness and the highest imprisonment rate of any Australian state. Former Spanish PM Zapatero said 'a decent society is one that does not humiliate its members'. Successive Australian governments have systematically humiliated citizens on the basis of cultural background or health or social status.

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  • RELIGION

    Unlocking Australia's incarceration culture

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 23 May 2013
    6 Comments

    The Commonwealth and the Victorian state budgets this year were marked by a contradiction. Both committed more money to incarceration — detention centres and prisons; and both limited programs to help the people confined there. Such contradictions are usually signs of a bad policy that flows from shallow cultural values.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Pilgrims in the landscape of lament

    • Benedict Coleridge
    • 19 April 2013
    7 Comments

    He was the same age as me and had the same name. But he looked old. He'd left Nigeria and walked to Macedonia; four years of walking. His feet were covered in callouses, dried and thickened. In the course of these wanderings he had been kidnapped, beaten and starved. The irregular migrants in Macedonia have come to the end of the road.

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