In recent months, the attention of Australians has been drawn to the abuses and injustices occurring within three different types of detention centres:
- Offshore and onshore detention centres incarcerating those seeking asylum – How could it be that as a nation so many have come to accept the idea of indefinitely detaining people seeking asylum? What does this say about us? See this documentary from Al Jazeera for background about Australia’s offshore detention centres.
- Abuses occurring within juvenile ‘justice’ centres – see Australia’s shame: ABC 4 corners
- The continuing gross over-representation of Aboriginal peoples in both juvenile and adult prisons – see this webpage and this series of articles.
Daily abuses and injustices occur within such institutions and yet, generally, it is assumed that such institutions of degradation are somehow ‘necessary’ or ‘inevitable’ or the ‘lesser of two evils’.
For as long as we continue to assume this, the abuses continue.
Dulwich Centre has a long history of questioning the inevitability of prisons and detention (see Beyond the prison: Gathering dreams of freedom) and abuses within prisons (see preventing prisoner rape project).
We are appalled at continuing detention abuses and how, as Australians, we are implicated in them
We are heartened by:
– the actions by feminists of colour to create alternative community responses to violence, including men’s violence against women, that avoid state violence, see: http://www.creative-interventions.org/
– a growing momentum to link Aboriginal sovereignty and sanctuary for asylum seekers
– the continuing actions of Sisters Inside
We welcome contact with anyone, whether in Australia or elsewhere, who is questioning the inevitability of detention and prisons and is seeking to create meaningful alternatives.
Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org