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August 11, 2014
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Justice system failing Indigenous women

By Pamela Nathan

Re: ‘Justice system failing Indigenous women’, published in ‘The Age‘ editorial, 17 August 2014

A timely article! Aboriginal women are mothers and grandmothers and victims of intergenerational abuse and trauma. Don’t gaol them! Women in the justice system have always been less considered in comparison to their male counterparts in terms of prison and community programs and alternatives, but they are often the only significant carers for their children. Provide them with the ‘good life’ model – Professor Tony Ward – not the ignored or the ‘bad life’ model of justice!  Recognise women as victims, grandmothers and mothers and not as criminals.

Magistrates may also require counselling. I have heard a magistrate in Alice Springs abuse a 16 year old female in the dock declaring her to be uncivilised and unfit to live in civilised society! (I discussed the details in a previous blog post: ‘Gang Girls – girls gone wild‘)

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