keywords: Prisons

  • 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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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Kids corrupted by criminal treatment

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 March 2013
    8 Comments

    In Australia the child's welfare is trumped by the demands of a justice system focused on containment of risk, and by populist calls to get tough on crime. When offending children are seen through a judicial lens, and justice is seen as retributive, the support society offers them to become responsible adults is fragmented. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The end of equal opportunity in Victoria

    • Moira Rayner
    • 28 June 2012
    16 Comments

    In 1978, airline boss Reg Ansett didn’t fancy employing the best qualified pilot because the pilot was a woman. She took him on through the Victorian Equal Opportunity Board and ultimately won. Victoria was a leader in human rights in those days. Sadly the current Attorney General is no defender of the rights of the weak and has gutted the Equal Opportunity Commission.

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  • RELIGION

    Politics played as holy comedy in Cambodia

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 07 June 2012
    5 Comments

    Meetings between holiness and politics are inherently dramatic. Think of Jesus' trial, of A'Beckett's murder, of Luther at Worms, of Romero's last sermon. These were tragedies. In Fr Pierre Ceyrac, a French Jesuit priest who died last week, politics and holiness met dramatically, but as comedy.

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  • RELIGION

    The Pope's butler did it!

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 31 May 2012
    53 Comments

    Catholics get used to being asked why they are Catholic. These days, in light of cases of clergy sex abuse and cover-ups, and perceived abuse of authority and contempt for women, the question is more accusatory: 'Why are you still a Catholic?' The recent affair of the Pope's butler provides a way out of this interrogation.

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  • RELIGION

    Easter in detention

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 06 April 2012
    13 Comments

    Over many years I have celebrated Christmas and Easter in places where people are locked up — in refugee camps, prisons and detention centres. To be in these places at such times is hard. It is also a privilege.

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