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Justice advocacy organisation Sisters Inside has called for a whole of government inquiry into the systemic failure to support children locked up in Queensland’s prisons. 

Sisters Inside CEO and human rights lawyer Debbie Kilroy said revelations that an Aboriginal boy, who allegedly assaulted officers inside Queensland jails was never given access to anger programs was the “tip of an enormous, deadly iceberg”. 

“Once and for all it is time to take the body of evidence that exists – that continually tells us children are being abused by the system – and put an end to it,” Ms Kilroy said. “This Government can do that.”

She said all Government departments should be held accountable for the horrendous failure to protect vulnerable children. 

“This is an issue for our education, health, housing, transport, and criminal justice systems. It is a whole of government problem and it will need a whole of government solution – starting with abolishing the youth detention framework,” Ms Kilroy said.

Ms Kilroy said the inhumane treatment of children inside Queensland’s jails was abuse. 

“We need to name what governments are doing to children – it’s racial discrimination, it’s creating life-long trauma and it’s reinforcing and creating further disadvantage,” Ms Kilroy said.

“The young boy at the centre of this incident was known to have a history of abuse. He is a traumatised child in need of support and care and love. Instead, this Government has enabled the system to treat him as the problem.” 

“The problem is not our children, it is the system and its failure to address the circumstances that have led to the child’s alleged offending.”

Ms Kilroy called on the Government to launch a full inquiry into programs being offered to children in detention and identify the widespread failures currently preventing children from accessing the right support. 

“The answer is that these children must not be in detention but until the system is dismantled, we need to ensure every child has access to the support they need not to continue to be harmed by the prison system.”

To read the article referred to above, see: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/judge-slams-youth-justice-s-excuse-for-failing-to-help-boy-20221211-p5c5em.html


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.