The system is broken.
Today children as young as 10 in WA are being jailed in a broken, unsafe, and traumatising system. Instead of preventing crime and building stronger communities, the criminal system results in a cycle of recidivism and re-traumatisation.
The carceral system inherently targets marginalised groups. In Australia, 50% of children under youth justice supervision are First Nations, and the vast majority live with a disability. The appalling conditions that young people in detention are subject to exacerbate their histories of trauma, neglect, and their underlying conditions.
It’s clear from the situation at Banksia Hill and Casuarina Maximum Security Prison, Unit 18 - the system simply does not work.
The UN, paediatricians, and judges agree that we need to move away from this draconian system. We need to raise the age of criminal responsibility to at least 14. We need to prevent the institutionalisation and criminalisation of young people. We need to invest in trauma-informed models of care which allow children access to early intervention programs in their communities, keeping kids culturally safe and close to country and family.
Kids need physical, social, emotional, and mental health support - not being locked in a small room grimly covered in graffiti with a dirty plastic mattress, a toilet without a lid and a tiny shower over the top of it, for over twenty hours a day.
The Greens (WA), and our MP the Hon Dr Brad Pettitt, are fighting for justice for our young people. You can read more about his visit to Banksia HIll and Casuarina here.
Can you join our fight?