Our indigenous population appears to begin a life of crime at a young age, so we should start young. Let’s start with the mothers.
Media and the largely female cohorts of supporters of female indigenous causes lionize the role of women in Aboriginal society. That would be fine if it were not to the detriment of Aboriginal males. Males are left on the margins, devalued, and thereby hangs the tale of young male crime.
Indigenous boys have no paternal role models. Their fathers are devalued. Give their fathers employment and a position of dignity in the community and Aboriginal youth crime will decrease.
At present some young indigenous males are lucky enough to have star footballers and other sportsmen as role models, but nothing beats a father one can look up to. It’s time the media stopped pandering to the feminist lobby and gave some latitude to the men in Aboriginal communities. And it’s time governments did something about creating more employment opportunities for Aboriginal males. Expanding civilization into the regions would bring employment.
While the pandemic is on we could use quarantine camps in the regions as an excuse to develop the regions. We need to develop them for the sake of defence anyway.
It would give the youngsters a future. It would also give them recreational activities apart from hot-wiring and hot-rodding in cars. Putting young people in detention is an easy out for a government which wants to look like it is cracking down on crime, but even jailed children have to come out of jail some time, and they usually behave worse once out than they did before they went in. We need to give them something wholesome to look forward to.
Adult responsibility for crime should not begin until age eighteen. It is generally considered that the male does not mature socially until about age twenty-five. Why then, do we imprison any child at age ten?
If they do commit crime before age eighteen, their parents should be held as much responsible as they. And they should not be detained as they are. A boot camp, handy to kin and friends would be the ideal. There would be no need to erect prison bars or barbed wire fences. Supervision should be by adults expert in handling troubled youngsters, not by professional jailers. Preferably one adult supervisor at least should have prior acquaintance with a specific offender.
Electronic tags are a laughable idea. Young people would be very adept at removing such items. Threatening them with further punishment for removing said items would be futile. No young person looks that far into the future. It’s part of his immaturity that he doesn’t consider such consequences. That is why ‘warnings’ and ‘slaps on the wrist’ don’t work either. He needs to be instructed in how to behave, instilling model behaviour by example. Male role models are required. Where fathers are absent, some relative or acquaintance should fit the bill, or perhaps someone the boy has mentioned as being someone he admires could be called on to visit and mentor him.
Police with understanding and empathy, particularly Aboriginal police, would come in handy. We need to recruit more Aboriginal police. It would solve some unemployment problems as well as helping the young to get on track.
At present we often incarcerate young boys in detention thousands of miles from home. It is sheer stupidity. It will teach them nothing but that the “white” population is against them, and they will rebel further. Keep them at home, in Country, and bring the city to the country. Give them skate parks and sporting fields, cinemas and a few shops that sell items at reasonable prices, instead of one shop that charges like a wounded bull because of freight costs and profiteering. Give them a bicycle club, or a Boy Scouts Club, or a soccer club, or all three. Keep them active and entertained.
Give them a promise of a future. Give them physical contact by way of hugs, and personal supervision which is caring and interested. Give them the prospect of employment in some career they will feel it is worthwhile participating in when they leave school. Give them a schooling they want. Don’t force them. You can’t force children to learn.
Where truancy is a problem, we could start a grassroots movement to have open air school and let children lead the class. They can take swimming lessons, soccer lessons, learn how to take care of a car, how to drive safely in adverse conditions. Then get serious and suggest they learn to read and write in their own tribal language. It is all learning to read and write, in whatever language they learn. Then encourage them to become bilingual. Use maths as a practical skill. Let them see the point of what they are learning. They need to know how many litres of fuel to the kilometre the car they dream of driving will need, and how far it will go on so many litres.
The major problem with young indigenous boys is that they have no hope, and feel they have no-one on their side. Detain them and they will simply rebel.
Adult criminals have a short life-span. They often die violently, or from alcohol or drug related illnesses. Maybe it is a little late to rescue some of them, but those who are redeemable need hope, need a promise of employment and dignity, need to feel that their children and their women-folk look up to them. We need a media expose. We need to lionise indigenous males as well as females. They are just as important, if not more so for the present, while we tackle Aboriginal crime.