Passage of laws to lock kids up a dark day for NSW

Friday 22 March 2024

Media release
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne

The passage through Parliament of the NSW Government’s laws to increase the number of children in jail marks a dark day for justice in this State.

The new bail laws to make it easier for children to be held behind bars won’t work and will be vigorously opposed by the Aboriginal community, the legal profession and supporters of Indigenous justice.

Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne said the Council is convening an emergency meeting of Aboriginal, legal and human rights organisations to campaign for the repeal of these unjust laws, and to demand funding for evidenced based solutions to youth disadvantage and crime.

“There is red hot anger in the community about the way these draconian laws have been rammed through the Parliament,” Byrne said.

“The fight against this knee-jerk decision to throw more children behind bars isn’t over, in fact, it’s only just begun.

“The Aboriginal community have been brutalised in recent months by the referendum result and an increase in vitriol towards them. So for the NSW Government now to make locking up more of their kids it’s highest Indigenous policy priority is a real kick in the guts.

“I have today convened an emergency meeting of organisations opposed to this inhumane policy so that we can make a voice heard by the Government.

“There is decades of research and evidence about which programs and support services are effective in diverting young people from crime and we will demand that the Government start funding these.

“Locking up children will lead to more crime, not less, and we must now force the Government to actually look at the evidence and fund what’s been proven to work.”

The emergency meeting of Aboriginal, legal and human rights organisations will be held next Wednesday March 27.

The coalition will then mobilise to put pressure on the Government to implement a real solution and not knee-jerk responses.


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Page last updated: 22 Mar 2024