The debacle that has been exposed in the past two years within the NT juvenile justice system shows quite clearly that by deliberate design and policy Aboriginal children in are treated in a barbarous, inhumane and illegal way. Multiple incidents within the juvenile detention facilities have revealed that the NT Government prosecutes policies against Aboriginal children which include spit-hooding, gassing, hand cuffing, shackling and extensive periods of unlawful solitary confinement.
Gulag NT spends more money per capita on Police and Corrections than any other Australian jurisdiction. It costs $100,000 per year to house each adult prisoner, and $200,000 for each juvenile. The present CLP Government has just opened its new Superjail (originally commissioned by the previous Labor Government) at a cost of $1 billion-plus. The Attorney-General has said it will ultimately cost the taxpayer $1.8B and take 30 years to pay off. It is the largest-ever NT Government outlay for a capital works project. Meanwhile, the present Government regularly makes significant cuts to education and health services. The Superjail is built to hold 1100 prisoners and is already close to full, so it won’t be long until another will be required.
"This is just bullshit; it’s all gone backwards. Everything goes to Tennant Creek (headquarters of Barkly Council). We want to get Elliott going again, but Tennant Creek just shoots us down in flames," Councillor Ray Aylett.
The authors of the Little Children Are Sacred report found that overall levels of dysfunction were higher in Indigenous communities where traditional law had significantly broken down. They argued that is more likely that Indigenous people will respond positively to their own law and culture than to laws imposed upon them.
"This is the first time in a long time that Balanda (European) and Yolngu laws have worked together like this. Yolngu are not asking for a separate system. This is about creating a dialogue between the two systems."