Human rights campaigner Debbie Kilroy has warned the Palaszczuk Government that community will hold it to account for its escalating abuse of children through its youth justice overhaul.
Ms Kilroy, who heads up the justice advocacy and prison abolition organisation Sisters Inside, said every act of harm perpetrated against children by the State of Queensland would cost the people of Queensland in years to come.
She said the State had made these children their responsibility and that “in decades’ time when an enquiry commences into the harm caused to these children by these policies it will be on them – it will come back to this Palaszczuk Government and they will have to pay”.
“This legislation is going to ensure that generations of children are criminalised, and let’s be clear, most of those children are going to be Aboriginal.”
“The Palaszczuk Government pushed this legislation through and did not listen to the evidence from the judiciary, from community, from health organisations, from every victim and survivor who has been telling them to stop.”
Ms Kilroy said the current policies would only escalate community violence and “anyone who thinks otherwise needs to take a hard look at the evidence”.
“This is a culture of harm. These are policies of harm. This will impact everyone, everyone’s children and everyone’s grandchildren,” Ms Kilroy said.
“What we need to do is stop harming everyone. Stop harming the children who have already been so harmed by the system and start funding the programs that deal with that harm and work to move children away from being locked up, away from using harm to cope with what has happened to them.”
She said the Government was playing politics with everyone’s safety.
“The result of what they are doing is putting children behind bars, pipelining them into the adult system and creating a class of children who will carry their trauma into adulthood because the Government is too scared to really address the issues of harm,” Ms Kilroy said.
“We need to stop the harm being done to the children.”
“We must fund programs that support children so they are not harmed.”
“We have the answers, the Government needs to listen and act.”
Learn more about Sisters Inside here: sistersinside.com.au
Debbie Kilroy: 0419 762 474
How can you help?
The Sisters Inside Fund for Children supports children of women in the criminal justice system to choose their own future free of the burdens so commonly felt while their mother is in prison.
#Free Her Campaign
This campaign has been set up by Debbie Kilroy, CEO of Sisters Inside Inc. The funds raised will be used to release people from prison and pay warrants so they are not imprisoned.