Home People ‘The system’s broken’: the crisis gripping Australia’s juvenile justice centres | Indigenous...

‘The system’s broken’: the crisis gripping Australia’s juvenile justice centres | Indigenous incarceration

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“Every time there’s a knock at the door I think it’s a policeman coming to tell me he’s dead,” a Noongar grandmother of a 15-year-old boy currently being held inside Western Australia’s Casuarina men’s prison tells Guardian Australia.

“It’s beyond worrying now, it’s the expectation.”

The boy, who is a former juvenile detainee, foster carer, and homelessness victim, was one of several mostly Aboriginal boys that were transferred from Banksia Hill juvenile custody centre to a separate youth unit at Casuarina south of Perth. This was done to address disruptive and harmful behaviour while improvements to the juvenile facility are made.

Recently, he attempted suicide for a third time.

He had been taken to hospital several days earlier, and he was released from Casuarina Prison after being treated.

“There’s something going wrong there … for them kids to think dying is the only way to get out of there,” she says.

The juvenile justice system in the United States is in crisis according to lawyers, family members, and advocates for human rights. While there have been urgent calls for reforms in WA and Tasmania, federal, state, and territory governments have all committed to reducing juvenile detention by 30% by 2031,

This week WA’s corrective services…



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