Just Reinvest NSW Youth Ambassadors Isaiah Sines and Terleaha Williams published an article in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The nation’s attorneys-general decided last Monday that the age of criminal responsibility would remain at 10 until at least 2021. The age needs to be raised to at least 14. Children aged 10 to 13 need to be supported, not punished.
“The truth is that it is Aboriginal children and young people who should be afraid. Afraid of putting our safety and wellbeing in the hands of a system that has traumatised our parents, grandparents and now us. We grow up expecting bad things to happen to us.”
Nothing improves by locking up kids. When you do, you rob them of everything – their family, their culture, their country. And it costs $1414 a day per kid. Imagine what you could do with that money if it was spent putting the right supports in place.
“Along with raising the age, systems need to change and resources need to shift. The government needs to stop investing so much in police and start investing in young people – with proper support to keep them away from the criminal justice system in the first place.”
Mt Druitt youth engagement officer and a youth ambassador for Just Reinvest NSW.
He is a Dhungatti man from Kempsey with ties to the Wiradjuri people.
Just Reinvest NSW youth ambassador and project lead on Mounty Yarns.
She is a Kamilaroi and Yuin woman.