This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

"Deeply Shocked. And Appalled"

"Like all Australians, we are shocked by the report, by that evidence that was shown on Four Corners [Australian Broadcasting Corporation television program Four Corners investigation] last night. Deeply shocked."
"We have moved swiftly to get to the bottom of it."
"We need to get all the facts out as swiftly as we can. We need to expose the cultural problems, the administrative problems that allowed this type of mistreatment to occur."
"We want to know how this came about. We want to know what lessons can be learned from it. We want to know why there were inquiries into this centre which did not turn up the evidence and the information that we saw on Four Corners last night."
"This is a shocking state of affairs and we will move quickly to establish what happened."
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

"[I want to thank the] whole Australian community for the support you have showed us boys [teen prison incarcerates] as well as our families."
"I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to the community for my wrongs and I can't wait to get out [of prison] and make up for them."
Dylon Voller, 17, featured in investigation into prison abuse of young boys in Australia

"The impact of those years of brutalization must be immediately measured and he needs immediate assistance."
"Any child locked up in solitary confinement in the Northern Territory needs to be released immediately."
Peter O'Brien, lawyer for Dylan Voller

"[Dylan] deserves his life back. [He] lost everything ... lost hope."
"The last time I went to visit him there was no smile, there was no emotion, there was nothing. I couldn't give him anything to be positive about and that really broke me."
"I want him to know he's still a person and people still love him and he still has hope for a life."
Kira Voller, Dylan's sister 
Dylan Voller shackled into a restraining chair -- ABC news

Aboriginal Australian youth are sometimes defiant and socially deviant, as the term goes to express the kind of resentment engendered by systematic, institutionalized racism that afflicts most colonial-era-derived societies. Australia appears to have reached the conclusion at some time in the near past that the best remediative treatment for insufferable anti-social behaviour is to brutalize those exhibiting that behaviour, to persuade those placed in prisons where they are treated to even greater incidents of contemptible disciplinary punishment for spurning societal norms, to straighten out and fly better.

That is evidently accomplished by long episodes of solitary confinement, earned when young prisoners act out intolerably. This earns them a bout of tear gas and placement for weeks on end in isolation, but not before being exposed to physical brutality. Isolation bereft of natural light, running water or breathable air where the reek of urine and the scuttle of rats distinguish the environment is certain, authorities must feel, to engender a chastening effect. It is called a correctional system after all, and not for nothing. Unfortunately, for a teen who has spent his formative years in the system it doesn't appear to have worked.
Young Dylan Voller
Dylan Voller in and out of detention since childhood -- ABC News

The systemic abuse of children and teens, most of Aboriginal extraction, has produced a cadre of of youth who have never known normalcy in their lives, but somehow learned to live through and endure the unspeakably atrocious punishments that a clearly dysfunctional system believes they have earned. On the other hand, it could only be sadism imposed by psychopaths who would impose such vicious punishment on children for the crime of non-compliance with authority. Do the prison guards who exhibit those tendencies have a leg up on job selection?

In 2014 Dylan was among six boys tear-gassed as treatment meted out to ensure a "riot" didn't proceed; a concern that lodged in the imagination and nowhere else since closed-circuit television and video recordings staff themselves created indicated that one boy had escaped from his cell when it was left unlocked by a guard. In the program that was aired on Monday evening, 'corrections' officers appeared on screen tear-gassing children in their cells, wrestling them to the ground, calling them "little f---ers".

With the emergence of shocking footage of teenagers being assaulted and abused in juvenile detention centres, the ABC wants to hear any stories you have of similar acts. Contact us ABC

Footage from 2010 when Dylan was all of ten years old, showed him being hurled across his cell floor, kneed and knocked to the ground where he was stripped naked numerous times and kept in solitary confinement, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Originally from Alice Spring, Dylan was imprisoned after a 24-hour meltdown when, high on methamphetamine, he attacked two men and a police officer. This could have been entitled Life As A Nightmare.

Dylan, said a social worker who has cared for Dylan, "has been in and out of trouble, needs to get serious counselling and it needs to be funded by the government. If a boy commits a crime, I'm not saying they don't have to face the music, but where's the duty of care? They need a place where they can be safe." All these revelations have utterly shocked the conscience of the nation; above all the government which disclaims any knowledge of such wretched situations victimizing children.

Oddly enough, the former Northern Territory children's commissioner, Dr. Howard Bath, undertook a lengthy investigation into this situation of institutional penal mistreatment. The fact that Australia was founded by the British as a penal colony must have tainted the atmosphere in perpetuity. The results of the lengthy investigation were presented to the government in 2012. It must have been neatly filed away. It had never been publicly released, let alone tabled in parliament.

Parliament is now engrossed in the earned embarrassment of nasty revelations.

Videos obtained by Four Corners show prison guards stripping, assaulting and mistreating teenager Dylan Voller over a period of more than four years. ABC

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