This episode looks at Juvenile Detention and questions how we deal with some of the most damaged kids in society.
The Australian government has a dirty little secret that is making us one of the most shame-faced nations in the developed world: we lock children up.
Despite being urged by 31 countries at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2019 to raise the age of criminal responsibility from ten years old to 14-years-old – the age set by the UN – we refused.
This means kids in this country can be incarcerated before they’re old enough to have a Facebook account.
In most Australian states, the government has banned former child inmates from talking publicly about their time behind bars if they haven’t sought permission from the courts. In this episode, we hear seven former inmates incarcerated for varying periods of time over the past 50 years. There are no blurred faces and no silhouettes.
The episode also questions how a country as lucky and abundant in resources as Australia treats its most damaged, vulnerable and underprivileged kids.
We ask what happens when a child is never even given the chance to break the cycle of trauma, poverty and incarceration?
When they are told they’re bad and locked up before being given a realistic chance to prove otherwise?
Are we giving kids any hope of rehabilitation? What could be done to reduce young people’s risk of offending or re-offending and what would that compassionate and pragmatic prison system look like?
Production credit: You Can’t Ask That is an ABC Production. Series Director and Producer: Kirk Docker, Series Producer: Josh Schmidt, Executive Producer: Frances O’Riordan and Head of Entertainment: Nick Hayden.