On prison abuse

Nick Young writes: Re. “Indefinite detention and NT prison abuse is our own fault” (yesterday). I’m in total agreement with Michael Bradley on this one. We’re all surprised that a system that’s constructed to punish wrongdoers works as intended! And make no mistake, the system is working as intended. Every time politicians up the stakes in the “I’m tough on crime” game, this is where we are heading. Every time we vote for politicians who sell us fear of the other, this is where we are heading. We, the body politic of Australia, asked for this, and continue to ask for it. Maybe we should harden up and take some responsibility.

Vincent Burke writes: Re. “The most shocking thing about the Four Corners footage: the abuse was legal” (yesterday).

My wife and I were shell-shocked — she was actually in tears — in the aftermath of the Four Corners programI find myself still shaking in anger that grown adults (four of them on occasions) could impose such violence on young kids. Despite initially trying to reassure us that he would pursue this issue, the Chief Minister showed his utter cynicism when calling on the police to investigate where the detention staff may have broken the law, knowing of course that NT laws allow for such apartheid-style behaviour.

I would like investigative journalists and ultimately the Royal Commission to identify the actual perpetrators of this thuggery.  Sorry to draw a long bow, but recently we have been subjected to constant portrayal of all Muslims as potential perpetrators of violence.  I’d like to know if any of the staff members featured in the videos were of Muslim background or whether they were indigenous.  I suspect they were neither, but would like to know if they were typical God-fearing white Aussies — or Territorians — which I suspect they were.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey