Many thanks to Donna Thomas, Journalist, Midland Express for coverage of my appearance at the Parliamentary Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria.
The Parliamentary Inquiry into Youth Justice Centres in Victoria held its first public hearing on Friday 17 March, 2017.
I was honoured to be invited to give evidence.
Here is my submission to the Inquiry:
More details on the parliamentary inquiry into youth justice centres in Victoria are available from the Committee’s website: The Legal & Social Issues Committee
In case you missed it, on 30th January, I was a guest again on 3CR’s Community Radio ‘Doin Time’ show with wonderful broadcaster Pete Esan (co broadcaster Marisa Sposaro not far away). Jared Sharp. Jesuit Social Services’ General Manager in the Northern Territory joined us by phone. Jared, formerly a lawyer with the Northern Territory Aboriginal Justice Agency, was featured in ABC TV’s Four Corners investigation into Darwin’s Don Dale Youth Detention Centre, which resulted in the Federal Government establishing a Royal Commission into the Territory’s youth detention and child protection systems.
Given the crisis in Victoria’s Youth Justice system, we talked about the much needed youth justice and adult prison reform in all states and territories. In particular, the need for Elders, mentors, and restorative justice. The role of Elders is vital in youth justice systems where indigenous youth are over represented. We need prisons becoming more like communities, adopting the UK’s User Voice democratic prison council practices. Communities introducing restorative justice and ‘Save Our Streets / SOS gang’s projects with reformed gang members, such as those in practice in the US, UK, Ireland and Sweden.
It is vital to utilize the lived experience of those who have been there before, survived and moved on in life. They are the experts, the ones with the credibility and respect, the ones who can build the trust, inspiration and motivation for those struggling to see how they could live another life, other than crime and revolving detention. Reformed offenders believe in a person’s ability to change – just as they did. As we know, real reform will only commence when governments implement Ombudsman’s’, Royal Commission’s and my Churchill Fellowship research recommendations.
The 29th Annual Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology (ANZSOC) conference was held in Hobart, Tasmania from 29 November to 2 December 2016. The theme of the 2016 Conference was ‘HORIZON CRIMINOLOGY’; ‘Looking over the horizon there are challenges for criminology and criminal justice requiring innovative interpretations and creative responses to the past, present and future.’ The ANZSOC Conference was officially opened by Her Excellency, Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, AM, Governor of Tasmania. The opening address was delivered by Dr Vanessa Goodwin, Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Minister for Corrections, Minister for the Arts, Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council.
It was an honour and wonderful opportunity to speak at the conference;. My presentation titled ‘Learning from former prisoners who have gone straight makes sense’, covered key messages from my Churchill Fellowship research. It was terrific meeting many familiar criminology colleagues and making new contacts across the national and international criminal justice world.
Excellent Symposium held in Tasmania by JusTas titled ‘Reintegration: Throughcare to What? Reducing Crime and Safer Communities’ on 28th November 2016. JusTas is a new group in Tasmania promoting justice, best practice and valuable outcomes for returning citizens and the community. A collaboration between the Salvation Army, University of Tasmania and Australian Red Cross, the Symposium a huge success, attended by many.
It was an honour to be a keynote speaker, many thanks to Keith Hinde, Coordinator Prison Support Program, Australian Red Cross; Grant Herring, Manager of Alcohol, Other Drugs & Corrections, Salvation Army Tasmania Division; and Don McCrae, Team Leader SASH Salvation Army Supported Housing, Street to Home and ITSS Intensive Tenancy Support Service (for Ex-Offenders).
Facilitated by Grant Herring, the Symposium was officially opened by Dr. Vanessa Goodwin, MLC, Attorney General and Minister for Corrections. Dr. Goodwin also officially launched the group JusTas. http://justas.org/. On the morning of the Symposium, it was an honour and wonderful opportunity to join Don McCrae in studio on 936 ABC Hobart radio. We were interviewed by Sarah Gillman about JusTas, the Symposium and my Churchill Fellowship keynote address. ICYMI: https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pe2DYbK943?play=true
For those who missed the recent Remaking Justice symposium held at the Wheeler Centre on 25 August 2016, or want a second look at what was discussed, we have now uploaded videos of each presenter a…
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust’s Annual Report 2015-16 Edition. It is an honour to be one of the Victorian 50th Anniversary Churchill Fellow’s profiled in the report.