Media Release: Ongoing Abuse and torture of children in Northern Territory jails – 2 years on from 4 Corners report: Grandmothers are calling for action

Ongoing Abuse and torture of children in Northern Territory jails – 2 years on from 4 Corners report: Grandmothers are calling for action

Tuesday 24thJuly 2018 Mparntwe (Alice Springs)

Media Opportunity
What: Commemoration to years on still no justice
When: 12noon
Where:  Courthouse Lawns Alice Springs
Who: Strong Grandmothers of the Central Desert Region and supporters.

On Wednesday July 25, Strong Grandmothers of the Central Desert Region, Alice Springs residents, families and supporters will gather on the courthouse lawns to mark two years since the 4 Corners report broadcasted the torture of children inside youth prisons. The ABC report triggered global outrage, and instigated the Royal Commission into the detention and protection of children in the NT (NTRC). Following the Royal Commission the torture and abuse continuous inside Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre and Don Dale Youth Detention Centre.

Alice Springs Youth Detention centre in 2018:
– Has been at 270% over capacity making it in the top ten of over crowded prisons globally.
-95% of Youth Prisoners have not been convicted.

Don Dale Youth Detention Centres 2018:

– There has been Ongoing suicide attempts
– Staffing shortages
– Untrained staff.

100% of child prisoners in the Northern Territory are Aboriginal.

The NTRC has called for a raise in the age of criminal responsibility (27) and decriminalisation for breach of bail (25.19) neither of these recommendations have been enacted.

Following is a statement from the Strong Grandmothers Group of the Central Desert Region:

“Those guards should be charged! How can the government let our kids be bashed, and locked up? It’s a criminal offense and they are getting away with it.


If the tables were turned – what if this was happening to their kids – there’d be a big roaring noise. There is no justice, Royal Commission and there is no wake up call.

Aboriginal kids have been literally abused and tortured. The whole world was watching and everyone saw the abuse, but the NT police let them off, we cry. Since 4 Corners there are many other grandchildren tortured, and it is still happening now.

All the families are crying out for their children to return to country. They have elders waiting for them. Kinship systems must be adhered to. Kids in Country Not in Custody.

The community hasn’t been listened to – we have heard nothing back since the Royal Commission. Funding gets allocated and nothing happens. Our communities continue to be under-privileged

“Dale Wakefield is the minister responsible for the ongoing genocide in the NT by the removal of our children. We call on Dale Wakefield to listen to the cultural people. We as cultural grandmothers call on the minister release all the children held on remand, for the kids to be released to country, and the closure of youth prisons in the NT. It is within her power.”

Media Liaisons
Meret MacDonald 0456 475 810
Hilary Tyler 0419 244 012


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