The spread of COVID-19 around the world has shone a light on overcrowded prisons and, in Australia, the high and growing incarceration rates for First Nations people.
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 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 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.
Songbirds: Ballads behind Bars
Contact CroakeyVoices via:
Twitter: @croakeyvoices @CateeC
For more information on the #JusticeCOVID project, see the stories published to date, read this media statement and follow the news at the #JusticeCOVID Facebook page.
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