keywords: Prisons

  • 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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  • AUSTRALIA

    Malaysia's migration paradox

    • Joachim Francis Xavier
    • 15 February 2012
    3 Comments

    A large segment of Malaysian society and the government in particular is clearly xenophobic. Yet Malaysia has thrown its arms wide open to asylum seekers heading to Australia. What is the motivation underlying Malaysia's sudden love affair with refugee swap deals?

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    If Dickens were alive today

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 08 February 2012
    6 Comments

    If Dickens wished to address the deprivation and discrimination suffered by Indigenous Australians and asylum seekers today, he would need to turn to the popular media. But even though he was superbly gifted for the genre, his telly series would most likely flop. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Unemployment angels and demons

    • John Falzon
    • 19 October 2011
    8 Comments

    Recently I received an email from a young man in Queensland. He was writing to thank the St Vincent de Paul Society for the stance it takes on the side of people who are demonised for being unemployed. He told me his story. Here are some bits of it.

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  • RELIGION

    Revitalising a 'hollowed-out' Church

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 13 October 2011
    25 Comments

    Most churches are ageing and limited in their ability to engage with governments. As well as controvesies such as the Bill Morris dismissal and the handling of sexual abuse, the Australian Bishops visiting Rome this week will discuss ways to build on the strenghts of the Church in Australia.

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