Last night’s episode of Four Corners was devastating to say the least. In an episode that will go down as one of the most despicable examples of the perversion of the penal system, the explosive footage uncovered children as young as 10 being subject to abuse and mistreatment at Don Dale Youth Corrections Centre in Darwin.
The episode titled ‘Australia’s Shame: The brutalisation of children behind bars’ showed footage of teenagers in the Northern Territory being held in solitary confinement for over a fortnight, sprayed with tear gas in their cells, brutalised by guards and even being stripped naked while being held down.
#FourCorners has once against shown why we need whistleblowers and investigative journalism, and why we need to protect both.
— Tara Moss (@Tara_Moss) July 25, 2016
White people are like: 'how is this happening in Australia?'
— Señor Goat (@Senor_Goat) July 25, 2016
The most disturbing image was that of Dylan Voller, who after threatening self harm, was strapped to a mechanical chair with a ‘spit hood’ over his head, in a scene that has drawn comparison to torture techniques at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Since the episode aired Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced that a Royal Commission will be held into the treatment of juvenile prisoners in the Northern Territory.
Following Turnbull’s call, Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles said this afternoon that he had removed John Elferink – as featured in the program – as Corrections Minister, installing himself in the role. Giles blamed the treatment of children at Don Dale as a “culture of cover-up” within the territory’s juvenile corrections system.
Giles has said today, that a new juvenile centre is set to be built.
If you haven’t watched the episode, you can so do now on ABC iView.