Newsletter date: 15 May 2013
* Change.org Petition: Stop Aboriginal deaths in police custody by saving the Custody Notification Service (CNS)
* Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT: ALS News: Save the CNS
* The Wire Audio: Argument between governments puts lives at risk
* The Stringer: Funding cuts means more Aboriginal peoples incarcerated
* NIRS: Urgent funding call for anti-deaths in custody measure
* NIRS: ALS warns lives could be at risk unless phone line is funded
* Let's Talk's Tiga Bayles interviews Gerry Georgatos on Aboriginal imprisonment
* Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: South Africa, 20 years after Apartheid, doing better than Australia
* Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: Aboriginality in sentencing before the High Court
* The Stringer: DCS issued warning one year prior - that riot would eventuate
* NIRS: WA Government should have seen riot coming: Georgatos
* SBS Living Black Radio: Demands For The WA Government To Set A Deadline To Remove The Children From Hakea Prison
* SBS Living Black Radio: 140 Children Remain In Hakea
* SBS Living Black Radio: Western Australia's Crippled Youth Justice System
* NIRS: Juveniles in adult jail must come out by July: Human rights campaigner
* SBS World News: How do kids cope with parents in prison?
* CAAMA Radio: Peoples Alcohol Action Coalition slams Governments Alcohol Protection Orders
* CAAMA Video: People's Alcohol Action Coalition Meeting
* Other News about Aboriginal imprisonment
* Background to Justice Reinvestment, Aboriginal imprisonment and Deaths in Custody
* CHANGE.ORG PETITION: STOP ABORIGINAL DEATHS IN POLICE CUSTODY BY SAVING THE CUSTODY NOTIFICATION SERVICE (CNS)
Change.org Petition: Stop Aboriginal deaths in police custody by saving the Custody Notification Service (CNS)
Petitioning Mark Dreyfus QC MP
Petition by Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT
"There have been no Aboriginal deaths in police custody in NSW and the ACT since the Custody Notification Service, a 24-hour legal advice phone line began in 2000. WE NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP IT RUNNING! HOW? Show how MASSIVE the support is for the government to fund this service by signing this petition and keeping a vital service alive."
* ABORIGINAL LEGAL SERVICE NSW/ACT: ALS NEWS: SAVE THE CNS
Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT: ALS News: Save the CNS
1 May 13: "Our 24-hour legal advice and RU OK phone line for Aboriginal people taken into police custody - the Custody Notification Service – will cease to exist on 30th June 2013 unless funding is urgently found. ... The Custody Notification Service is a telephone advice and well-check service operated by the ALS. By law, the police must contact the ALS every time they detain an Aboriginal person in a NSW police station. The Aboriginal person is given the opportunity to talk to a qualified ALS lawyer. They are advised about their rights in custody and their legal situation. The lawyers also find out if the person is OK. ... The Custody Notification Service is more than a phone line, it’s a lifeline."
- Related Audio
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
10 May 13: "Funding cuts to a 24-hour phone line service in NSW, which gives Aboriginal people taken into police custody access to legal advice, could lead to an increase in the already over representation of its people in the jail system. According to the states Aboriginal Legal Service."
* THE WIRE AUDIO: ARGUMENT BETWEEN GOVERNMENTS PUTS LIVES AT RISK
The Wire: Argument between governments puts lives at risk
Produced by Tim Bennett
13 May 13: "An argument between state and federal governments over who should pay for a legal hotline could be putting lives at risk. The Custody Notification Service was recommended by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody, but it is now at risk of being left unfunded due to a disagreement of whether it is a state or federal funding responsibility. ... The Custody Notification Service allows all Indigenous people in custody access to a lawyer to provide legal aid and welfare support, and has been in place since 2000. ...
Featured in story:
Phil Naden - CEO, Aboriginal Legal Service NSW/ACT
Craig Longman - Senior Researcher, Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning
Melanie Schwartz - Lecturer, University of New South Wales"
* THE STRINGER: FUNDING CUTS MEANS MORE ABORIGINAL PEOPLES INCARCERATED
The Stringer: Funding cuts means more Aboriginal peoples incarcerated
9 May 13: "Another recommendation from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (RCIADC) has gone by the wayside. Funding has been cut from a 24-hour legal advice phone line service that ensures the rights and welfare of Aboriginal people while they are in custody. The service met a NSW legislative requirement for this right. The Custody Notification Service (CNS) had been in operation since 2000, and it was a response to a recommendation from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody whereby police must notify the Aboriginal Legal Service every time they detain or arrest an Aboriginal person, ... "
* NIRS: URGENT FUNDING CALL FOR ANTI-DEATHS IN CUSTODY MEASURE
National Indigenous Radio Service: Urgent funding call for anti-deaths in custody measure
10 May 13: "The New South Wales/ACT Aboriginal Legal Service is petitioning the Federal Attorney-General to fund a program aimed at preventing deaths in custody. ... It says the phone line provides detained people with access to lawyer who check on the person’s welfare, where threats of self-harm or suicide are common. ... " Significantly, there have been no Aboriginal deaths in police custody since the phone line began.""
* NIRS: ALS WARNS LIVES COULD BE AT RISK UNLESS PHONE LINE IS FUNDED
National Indigenous Radio Service: ALS warns lives could be at risk unless phone line is funded
13 May 13: "The New South Wales/ACT Aboriginal Legal Service is concerned the well-being of some people may be put at risk with the lack of funding of a crucial service. ... Chief Executive Phil Naden says they still hope to maintain the service as it could save lives."
* LET'S TALK'S TIGA BAYLES INTERVIEWS GERRY GEORGATOS ON ABORIGINAL IMPRISONMENT:
- Audio Interview
Indigenous radio station 98.9FM Brisbane:
Let's Talk - Gerry Georgatos
5 Apr 13: "Editor of The Stringer, Independent News"
Listen to this interview on-line:
Listen to all Gerry’s interviews:
* GERRY GEORGATOS, THE STRINGER: SOUTH AFRICA, 20 YEARS AFTER APARTHEID, DOING BETTER THAN AUSTRALIA
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: South Africa, 20 years after Apartheid, doing better than Australia
11 May 13: "Australia incarcerates its Aboriginal youth at the world’s highest rates, it imprisons one in 14 Western Australian Aboriginal adult males and it removes one in 14 children from Western Australian Aboriginal families into the care of the State, and for Aboriginal peoples the whole of the Northern Territory is a prison built brick by brick by the Commonwealth, and this prison is loosely known as the 'Intervention'. Since 1992, the rate of Aboriginal incarceration in Australia has grown 14 times faster than that of non-Aboriginal incarceration." By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
* GERRY GEORGATOS, THE STRINGER: ABORIGINALITY IN SENTENCING BEFORE THE HIGH COURT
The Stringer: Aboriginality in sentencing before the High Court
10 May 13: "The High Court of Australia will for the first time in decades consider whether Aboriginality is relevant when deliberating sentencing. This morning the full bench of the High Court heard an application from the Aboriginal Legal Services (ALS) of NSW and the ACT. The ALS was awarded the grant of special leave relating to the relevance of Aboriginality to sentencing. The ALS application had sought clarification from the High Court on a precedent from 1992 - the Fernando principles - where the Supreme Court of NSW determined that Aboriginality should be taken in account in sentencing." By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
* THE STRINGER: DCS ISSUED WARNING ONE YEAR PRIOR - THAT RIOT WOULD EVENTUATE
The Stringer: DCS issued warning one year prior - that riot would eventuate
9 May 13: "There are more than one hundred Aboriginal kids in a Perth adult prison but the blame for this has not hit home hard enough. The Western Australian Supreme Court recently found in favour of the State Government that they had no choice of where else to relocate the children after the January 20 Banksia Hill detention centre riot. But yesterday it unfolded that the Government was warned more than a year ago that a riot would soon result from the alleged widespread double bunking at the amalgamated juvenile detention centre."
* NIRS: WA GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE SEEN RIOT COMING: GEORGATOS
National Indigenous Radio Service: WA Government should have seen riot coming: Georgatos
14 May 13: "Western Australia journalist and human rights campaigner Gerry Georgatos says a Supreme Court ruling has allowed the Western Australia Government to get away with incompetence. ... Mr. Georgatos, from online news publication The Stringer, told 98.9fm the Government should have seen the incident coming after a Department of Corrective Services report argued the riot was foreseeable."
* SBS LIVING BLACK RADIO: DEMANDS FOR THE WA GOVERNMENT TO SET A DEADLINE TO REMOVE THE CHILDREN FROM HAKEA PRISON
- Audio Interview
SBS Living Black: Demands For The WA Government To Set A Deadline To Remove The Children From Hakea Prison
By Michelle Lovegrove
8 May 13: "Mission Australia has urged the WA Government to immediately give a deadline for when it will remove the children from Hakea adult prison. 140 children aged 12 to 17 have been incarcerated in Hakea adult prison since January 2013. ... Mission Australia wants the WA Government to give a deadline of when the children will be taken out of Hakea. It also wants the WA Commissioner for Children and Young People, to be given access to the facility, to review conditions inside. Ms Perry tells Michelle Lovegrove, this situation is an extreme example of what's been happening to Aboriginal children for decades."
* SBS LIVING BLACK RADIO: 140 CHILDREN IN HAKEA
- Audio Interview
SBS Living Black: 140 Children Remain In Hakea
By Michelle Lovegrove
8 May 13: "What next for the children in Hakea? No word from the WA Government. ... CEO of the Aboriginal Legal Service of Western AustraliaWA Aboriginal Legal Service, Dennis Eggington, says he's not surprised by the court decision [by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to dismiss the case]. The WA ALS represents many of the boys currently incarcerated in Hakea. Dennis Eggington tells Michelle Lovegrove, the WA Government must allow independent scrutiny of prison conditions, and what essential services the boys have access to."
* SBS LIVING BLACK RADIO: WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S CRIPPLED YOUTH JUSTICE SYSTEM
- Audio Interview
SBS Living Black: Western Australia's Crippled Youth Justice System
By Michelle Lovegrove
8 May 13: "140 boys and young men still imprisoned at Hakea ... The Supreme Court case against children held at Hakea adult prison has revealed a botched youth justice system where politicians pick from the lesser of two evils. A WA Supreme Court case over the incarceration of 140 youths in an adult prison was dismissed last week. ... George Newhouse from Shine Lawyers represented the families of the boys, concerned about the effect on their children. He's speaking with Marc Tong."
* NIRS: JUVENILES IN ADULT JAIL MUST COME OUT BY JULY: HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER
National Indigenous Radio Service: Juveniles in adult jail must come out by July: Human rights campaigner
13 May 13: "By NIRS/98.9fm: Amnesty International’s Indigenous rights campaigner, Rodney Dillon, says there must be better structures in place to reduce the number of Indigenous juveniles entering the justice system. ... Mr. Dillon told 98.9fm the WA Government must deliver its commitment that all young people will be out of the adult jail by the end of next month."
* SBS WORLD NEWS: HOW DO KIDS COPE WITH PARENTS IN PRISON?
SBS World News: How do kids cope with parents in prison?
Source: Larteasha Griffen, Living Black
7 May 13: "A program set up to reach out to prisoners and their families is making an impact on the Mid North Coast of NSW. 'Belonging to family' is an Aboriginal cultural program run by Shine for Kids at the Mid North Coast Correctional centre in Kempsey. It aims to build strong relationships between prisoners and their children. 42-year-old Terrence Smith says it’s changed his life. ... Many children with parents in the criminal justice system experience anxiety caused from separation, isolation and shame. With almost 40,000 kids with a parent in jail in Australia, Shine for kids offers support to a number of families across the country."
* CAAMA RADIO: PEOPLES ALCOHOL ACTION COALITION SLAMS GOVERNMENTS ALCOHOL PROTECTION ORDERS
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association: Peoples Alcohol Action Coalition slams Governments Alcohol Protection Orders
14 May 13: "The Northern Territory Government’s new Alcohol Protection Orders will "set up grog addicted Territorians for failure and increase the Territory’s already over-populated prison system", according to a peak NT alcohol action body. The Peoples Alcohol Action Coalition is a group working towards reducing the impacts of alcohol-related harm. They say the Giles Country Liberal Government has "turned the clocks back with its recently proposed Alcohol Protection Orders and some of the most severely affected people addicted to alcohol are likely to end up in jail and not in treatment, despite the election promises"."
- Related Audio
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
14 May 13: "* A group working towards reducing the impacts of alcohol-related harm says the Northern Territory Governments new Alcohol Protection Orders will set up grog addicted Territorians for failure and increase the Territorys already over populated prison system.
* The territory’s peak Aboriginal Justice Agency has criticised the APO’s and says the government has learnt nothing from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody."
* CAAMA VIDEO: PEOPLE'S ALCOHOL ACTION COALITION MEETING
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association: People's Alcohol Action Coalition Meeting
13 May 13
* OTHER NEWS ABOUT ABORIGINAL IMPRISONMENT
National Indigenous Radio Service: New national voice for death in custody issues
13 May 13: "Sydney rights campaigner Ray Jackson says high incarceration rates and police mistreatment of Indigenous people are concerns across the country and a national voice is needed."
National Indigenous Radio Service: Justice policy questioned as new NT jail built
9 May 13: "By NIRS/98.9fm: The CEO of the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency says she’s concerned funding has been wasted on a new prison and it won’t help prevent repeat offences. ... NAAJA’s Priscilla Collins told 98.9fm money would be better spent on preventative measures."
newsTracker: Marlon Noble case a travesty: WA minister
10 May 13: "It’s a travesty a mentally impaired Aboriginal man was imprisoned without conviction because there was nowhere else to put him, Western Australia’s Disability Services Minister Helen Morton says. Marlon Noble, a mentally impaired man jailed for more than 10 years for sex offences he was never convicted of, is living under strict conditions despite being released after charges were dropped last year. Mr Noble hit the headlines again on Tuesday when the Mentally Impaired Accused Review Board granted him leave to travel away from his home town of Geraldton ... "
newsTracker: More WA police stood down in bashing probe
10 May 13: "WESTERN AUSTRALIA: Two more West Australian police officers have been stood down as part of an investigation into the alleged bashing of a man by a policeman in the Broome watchhouse. Western Australia’s corruption watchdog, the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC), launched a probe into an alleged April 19 assault on a 30-year-old man. The assault was reported by a senior officer shortly after it allegedly occurred."
The West: Top judge backs new crime plan
8 May 13: "WA's top judge has thrown his support behind a strategy that directs resources and crime prevention programs at geographical areas that have high rates of residents being jailed. Supreme Court Chief Justice Wayne Martin has also suggested using the "justice reinvestment" approach to target the most effective use of resources and expenditure at other groups which are over-represented in courts and prisons, including Aboriginals, juveniles and people with alcohol problems." Amanda Banks Legal Affairs Editor, The West Australian
* BACKGROUND TO JUSTICE REINVESTMENT, ABORIGINAL IMPRISONMENT AND DEATHS IN CUSTODY:
Last updated: 9 May 2013
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