What are the chances of reform to the prison system in the wake of COVID19?
The pandemic has shone a light on overcrowded facilities and, in particular, on the high and growing rates of incarceration of First Nations peoples.
In the second of two #CroakeyVOICES podcasts funded by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas,Associate Professor Megan Williams, the Research Lead and Assistant Director of the National Centre for Cultural Competence at The University of Sydney, and Cate Carrigan look at calls for prison reform in the wake of COVID19.
Change the Record’s Cheryl Axleby says there’s been an 88 percent increase in incarceration rates for Indigenous Australians over ten years, and argues it’s time to repeal punitive bail laws, end the offence of public drunkenness, raise the criminal age to fourteen and implement the recommendations of the Black Deaths in Custody Royal Commission.
We also hear from Robert Houston, a former director of the Douglas Country Corrective facility in Omaha, USA, and lecturer at the School of Criminology at the University of Nebraska; Greg Barns from the Australian Lawyers Alliance, Debbie Kilroy from “Sisters Inside”; Thomas “Marksey” Marks, an artist and former inmate in the Victorian prison system; Ron Wilson, the President of Australasian Corrections Education Association; and Murray Cook, founder of the NSW Community Restorative Centre’s SongBirds program.
** Confined 11 – The Torch virtual exhibition, selling artworks from inmates and former inmates of Victoria corrective facilities, continues until June 7. https://thetorch.org.au/exhibition/confined-11/
** Songbirds https://www.songbirds.com.au/