What is the cost to our society of setting young people up for a lifetime in and out of detention?
The youth detention centre in Alice Springs is a short walk from the adult prison. When the children turn 18 they “graduate” and get shifted a couple of minutes down the road to the place where some of them will spend large portions of their adult lives.
This graduation alone should make it clear that there is something fundamentally broken with a criminal justice system that catches children and spits adults out into the prison system. The fact that it feels normal – even inevitable – to many of these young people that at some point they’ll move up the road to the “big house” is surely one of the clearest indications that we’ve failed these children.
One child told me that he was trying very hard to stay out of trouble but he could feel himself getting 'hot' behind his eyes
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