Alistair Coe has put out a media release prompted by statements in committee from the Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services that many inmates in the new Bimberi youth detention centre prefer custody to their homes lives.
This raises a lot of dangers, not least creating a desire to re-offend when released which endangers the public.
But rather than make them break rocks do we need to find ways to give them safe and decent lives when they’re not guilty of crimes?
To his credit Coe seems to be thinking down the same track:
- “If the system is failing these kids on so many levels, we need to carefully look at the entirety of that system to protect these young people and their families.”
UPDATED: The ABC has some more context on this:
- Department chief executive Martin Hehir says some indigenous elders have told them that the offenders are happier in Bimberi.
“Many of the young people who end up in Bimberi have come from fairly chaotic circumstances, they probably wouldn’t be used to being fed on a regular basis, they probably wouldn’t be all that used to positive respectful relationships and that’s what they get in Bimberi,” he said.
“That applies quite broadly to many of the occupants, it’s not just the indigenous people.”