Royal commission must focus on the full impacts of youth detention
The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) applauds the swift establishment of a royal commission into the treatment of children in Northern Territory youth detention centres after revelations raised on ABC’s Four Corners program.
“NACCHO was deeply shocked at the revelations from the Don Dale facility and applauds the swift action taken by Prime Minister Turnbull to ensure the safety of these young people and their mental wellbeing,” said NACCHO Chair, Matthew Cooke.
“Whilst NACCHO welcomes the swift action of Prime Minister Turnbull, it also hopes that the Royal Commission proceeds with the same immediacy, and delivers answers in a timely fashion.”
“Given the gravity of the situation NACCHO is calling for immediate administrative changes, and the Chief Minister needs to do so as a matter of urgency.”
“This Royal Commission should be the starting point of a wider inquiry that looks at the impacts of detention on mental health, and the devastating suicide rate of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people, particularly young people.”
“There needs to be a bigger focus on modern day rehabilitation of all children in the NT who come into contact with the juvenile justice system – not just lock them up and keep them out of sight.”
“We need a system that justice system that is best practice and culturally safe for Aboriginal children faced with detention.”
“Young people should not be risking their lives in detention, and the price they pay for their crimes should not be life long.”
Last week, NACCHO called on all parties to back a Royal Commission into the devastating rate of suicide among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people as a priority for the new Federal parliament.
“We need to think about what detention is doing to our young people, and the devastating impacts it can have on their mental health – and the suicide risk that it poses.”
“We need to look at the whole cycle of what is happening with our young Aboriginal children, that they’re taking their own lives, or ending up in incarceration.”