Who would have thought the pandemic would reveal the ugly truth about Australia’s prisons!
What began as a penal colony quickly evolved into a patriarchal, arrogant society; one where everyone but white males stood to lose. I came from a background of white privilege and entered a world of disadvantage and misery, simply by marrying the son of a Yugoslav immigrant. Lifelong struggle for me and our children.
We had always known about care leavers’ journeys into incarceration. We knew that around half all care leavers end up in jail, a further 25% in psychiatric care, and several more cohorts in the armed services. Some, like John Munt, were dragooned into the Army and sent to Vietnam with criminally insufficient support.
I’m glad Lew isn’t alive to see what’s happening to freedom of speech in Australia. On the other hand, he’d be heartened by the news that incarceration rates are down. The police have better things to do than persecute care leavers, their families, and other alienated cohorts.