Newsletter date: 31 May 2013
* CAAMA interview with AMSANT CEO John Paterson: Jail not the answer [Alcohol Mandatory treatment Bill]
* CAAMA: NT proposed Alcohol Mandatory treatment Bill
* ABC The World Today: Aboriginal justice, welfare groups call for rethink on NT plan to force alcoholics into rehab
* Dan Harrison, Canberra Times: NT plan to lock up drunks 'targets aborigines'
* Greens Senator Rachel Siewert: Greens express serious concerns over NT mandatory rehabilitation
* ABC: ACOSS attacks mandatory alcohol rehabilitation
* NIRS: Social services slam NT mandatory treatment policy
* SBS Radionews: Debate continues on NT rehab plan
* Central Land Council: Chairman's address to grog rally
* Gerry Georgatos, The Stringer: Racialised imprisonment
* The Stringer: Former prisoners' wages subsidy
* The Stringer: Police Commissioner says time to help Aboriginal youth
* Background to Justice Reinvestment, Aboriginal imprisonment and Deaths in Custody
* CAAMA INTERVIEW WITH AMSANT CEO JOHN PATERSON: JAIL NOT THE ANSWER
- Audio Interview
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association: Jail not the answer
29 May 13: "John Paterson, CEO of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance Northern Territory says AMSANT is in the process of gathering feedback, comments and analysis of the proposed mandatory treatment bill. Punitive measure he states, is not the answer."
* CAAMA: NT PROPOSED ALCOHOL MANDATORY TREATMENT BILL
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association:
27 May 13: "The Northern Territory’s peak Aboriginal organizations representative body says the Giles CLP Governments proposed Alcohol Mandatory treatment Bill will discriminate against their people by effectively criminalizing public drunkenness."
* ABC THE WORLD TODAY: ABORIGINAL JUSTICE, WELFARE GROUPS CALL FOR RETHINK ON NT PLAN TO FORCE ALCOHOLICS INTO REHAB
ABC The World Today: Aboriginal justice, welfare groups call for rethink on NT plan to force alcoholics into rehab
28 May 13: "The national peak body for Social Services is warning that Aboriginal people will be unfairly targeted by the Northern Territory Government's radical plan to force problem drinkers into rehabilitation. The Australian Council of Social Services says the policy is half-baked, will be ineffective and is likely to result in even more Aboriginal people entering the criminal justice system in the Northern Territory. There's concern too among Aboriginal justice and Alcohol policy experts who are gathering for a conference in Darwin and will call on the territory government to rethink its plan"
* DAN HARRISON, CANBERRA TIMES: NT PLAN TO LOCK UP DRUNKS 'TARGETS ABORIGINES'
- Analysis / Opinion
Canberra Times: NT plan to lock up drunks 'targets aborigines'
29 May 13: "A Northern Territory government plan to lock up problem drunks and force them to undergo rehabilitation could criminalise a health problem, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Mick Gooda has warned. Under the scheme, which is proposed to start in July, people taken into custody for drunkenness three times in a two month period can, at the recommendation of a tribunal, be placed in a residential treatment program for 12 weeks." Dan Harrison, Health and Indigenous Affairs Correspondent
* GREENS SENATOR RACHEL SIEWERT: GREENS EXPRESS SERIOUS CONCERNS OVER NT MANDATORY REHABILITATION
- Media Release
Greens Senator Rachel Siewert: Greens express serious concerns over NT mandatory rehabilitation
28 May 13: "The Australian Greens said today that they are extremely concerned about the mandatory rehabilitation legislation proposed by the NT Government.
"Alcohol management is an ongoing problem in the NT, but forcing people into a detention centre is in violation of basic human rights, and is not the solution to this very significant problem" Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
"I have been receiving letters from people and organisations in the NT expressing their concern about this legislation, and calling for it to be abandoned.
"Organisations have flagged a range of concerns with me, including their belief that the legislation overlooks recommendations of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody.
"This is a very serious situation, and the NT Government should be focusing on approaches which address the underlying causes of alcohol abuse and build safe communities. ... " [said Senator Siewert]"
* ABC: ACOSS ATTACKS MANDATORY ALCOHOL REHABILITATION
ABC: ACOSS attacks mandatory alcohol rehabilitation
28 May 13: "The Australian Council of Social Service has called on the Northern Territory Government to scrap its mandatory alcohol rehabilitation policy. ACOSS chief executive Cassandra Goldie is warning that the proposed Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Bill being considered by the Territory parliament could lead to breaches of Australia's human rights obligations. It would give a tribunal the power to force problem drinkers into rehabilitation for two months. Dr Goldie says it would effectively criminalise public drunkenness." By Michael Coggan
- Related News
Australian: Experts unite on 'obscene' grog bill
28 May 13: "ABORIGINES in the Northern Territory are the target of discriminatory, costly, ineffective and "half-baked" legislation that forces habitual drinkers into treatment centres with fences and guards, the peak body for community services will warn today. Alcohol, welfare, criminology and indigenous justice experts due to gather at a conference in Darwin will argue against plans they say will criminalise drunkenness for part of the community, contrary to the findings of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody." Amos Aikman, Northern correspondent
* NIRS: SOCIAL SERVICES SLAM NT MANDATORY TREATMENT POLICY
National Indigenous Radio Service: Social services slam NT mandatory treatment policy
30 May 13: "By ABC/NIRS: The Australian Council of Social Services has described the Northern Territory Government’s alcohol mandatory treatment policy as half-baked, discriminatory and unlikely to reduce alcohol-related harm. ... the Council’s Chief Executive Cassandra Goldie says the policy will unfairly target Aboriginal people who are often the most visible drinkers in the Territory."
* SBS RADIONEWS: DEBATE CONTINUES ON NT REHAB PLAN
- Audio Interview
SBS Radionews: Debate continues on NT rehab plan
By Greg Dyett
28 May 13: "A Northern Territory government plan to force people with alcohol problems into compulsory rehabilitation is continuing to draw a mixed reaction. Under the Alcohol Mandatory Treatment Bill, anyone who has been put in protective custody three times in two months could be sent to mandatory rehab for three months. The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care says it's opposed to the legislation. Chief Executive Frank Hytten told Greg Dyett mandatory measures are usually not effective."
* CENTRAL LAND COUNCIL: CHAIRMAN'S ADDRESS TO GROG RALLY
- Media Release
Central Land Council: Chairman’s address to grog rally 13 May 2013
13 May 13: "CLC Chairman Maurie Ryan gave this address to the rally in Alice Springs called to address the NT Government's policies concerning alcohol in the NT
The CLC wants to see a greater focus on reducing harm associated with alcohol. We have long supported policy ideas that produce real change on alcohol consumption. These are not rocket science; they have to do with reducing supply, by increasing the price - introducing a floorprice - and reducing the number of takeaway sale days. On the whole, the Aboriginal community and the CLC, who have chosen me as the elected representative, support these initiatives. ...
The CLC also supports the reintroduction of the Banned Drinkers Register. It wasn’t perfect, but it was making a difference to the lives of Aboriginal people and families in major towns and communities. ... "
* GERRY GEORGATOS, THE STRINGER: RACIALISED IMPRISONMENT
- Analysis / Opinion
The Stringer: Racialised imprisonment
28 May 13: "Australia has a history since colonialisation of racialised violence and hence racialised imprisonment. Aboriginal peoples deal the with the worst of Australia’s racialised imprisonment - throughout the criminal justice system - from sentencing regimes to the effects of having become the world’s most incarcerated peoples. A dark thread of racism underwrites Australia’s national consciousness contemporaneously and it is not limited to Australia’s maltreatment of Aboriginal peoples. The maltreatment of Asylum Seekers ... " By Gerry Georgatos, a life-long human rights and social justice campaigner, a multi-award winning investigative journalist
* THE STRINGER: FORMER PRISONERS' WAGES SUBSIDY
The Stringer: Former prisoners' wages subsidy
16 May 13: "Western Australian Premier Colin Barnett said that he would consider the proposition of subsidising the wages of former prisoners if it meant that it would reduce the likelihood of them re-offending. Recently, State Corrective Services Minister Joe Francis said that Justice Reinvestment would also be considered by the Government. Western Australia’s prison population is at a record high - having earlier in the year passed 5,000 prisoners for the first time. It now stands at nearly 5,300 prisoners with more than 40 per cent of the State’s prison population comprised of Aboriginal peoples."
* THE STRINGER: POLICE COMMISSIONER SAYS TIME TO HELP ABORIGINAL YOUTH
The Stringer: Police Commissioner says time to help Aboriginal youth
16 May 13: "Western Australia’s Aboriginal youth are being detained in juvenile detention centres at the world’s highest rate. The WA Police Commissioner said that it is time to tackle various social determinants in order to tackle juvenile crime. More than 70 per cent of the WA juvenile detention centre population is Aboriginal. Commissioner O’Callaghan said that more police and more prisons are not the answers to addressing juvenile crime. "Indigenous youth have special vulnerabilities and it is no secret that they are grossly over-represented in the justice system," said the Commissioner."
- Related Audio
National Indigenous Radio Service: Community legal centres back new justice strategy
21 May 13: "The National Association of Community Legal Centres says it supports a push to take a justice reinvestment approach to crime policy. ... National Convenor Michael Smith says justice reinvestment presents an opportunity to cut down crime by dealing with its causes."
* BACKGROUND TO JUSTICE REINVESTMENT, ABORIGINAL IMPRISONMENT AND DEATHS IN CUSTODY:
Last updated: 30 May 2013
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