The Greens have called the decision by the Council of Attorney Generals to defer the decision of raising the age of criminal responsibility a failure of justice and compassion.
“It’s deeply disappointing when we are in a moment of public consciousness about the impacts of state sanctioned criminalisation and violence against First Nations peoples that Governments have failed to act on a tangible policy change that would make such a difference to closing the gap and justice for First Nations peoples.
“Criminalising children does not work. It is cruel and it has life-long impacts for children and their families. First nations children account for 65% of the younger children sent to prison.
“The vast majority of children in the justice system are locked up for petty crime.
“Prison does not keep anyone safer. All the evidence shows us the earlier a child is forced into the criminal legal system, the greater the likelihood that they’ll offend again.
“We have the solutions. We know how to build stronger and safer communities - all we need is the political will and resourcing to make these solutions a reality.
“This campaign is not over.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180