Incarceration Nation Exposing our Unjust justice system

Incarceration Nation: Exposing our unjust justice system

Thousands of First Nations people wake up behind bars every day, including children.

Incarceration Nation lays bare the story of the systemic racism built into our justice system. The documentary is told by First Nations people, experts, academics and those directly impacted by the current criminal justice system.

“Families continue to fight for justice and accountability for the deaths of their once imprisoned relatives, while the calls for solutions which empower Indigenous Australians to drive the change needed get louder,” the host network NITV stated.

The most incarcerated people in the world

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are amongst the most incarcerated people in the world.

Here are some stark facts:

3.3% of the population is Indigenous

27% of men in prisons are Indigenous

34% of women in prisons are Indigenous

65% of children aged 10-13 in prisons are Indigenous

55% of all children in prisons are Indigenous

478 Indigenous deaths in custody between 1991 to 2016

0 criminal convictions for those responsible

Documentary highlighting systemic issues

Writer, director and Guugi Yimithirr man Dean Gibson uses the documentary to explore firsthand the devastation by those affected by our incarceration nation.

In the film, interviewees include:

  • Federal Circuit Judge Matthew Myers
  • Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner 2009-216 Mick Gooda
  • Barrister Joshua Creamer
  • Associate Professor Chelsea Watego
  • Professor Don Weatherburn
  • Author Amy McGuire
  • Lawyer Teela Reid
  • Keenan Mundine
  • Carly Standley
  • The Dungay Family
  • The Fisher Family
  • The Day Family
  • The Hickey Family.

Incarceration Nation film poster, prisoners in our own landIncarceration Nations reflects on “Australia’s history, and how massacres, child removals, stolen wages, denial of education and over-policing, racism and systemic bias have continued to drive overrepresentation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the criminal justice system, and the devastating impact it continues to have,” NITV states.

NITV Head of Commissioning and Programming Kyas Hepworth hopes the film inspires change.

“For many Indigenous Australians, these are stories we have felt and unfortunately, we have known. The story of incarceration in Australia from a Blak perspective may open an unfamiliar discussion for some, but an important one that needs to be had,” Hepworth says.

“As Australia’s dedicated First Nations broadcaster, our hope is that the voices and stories of those featured, and the many more they represent across Australia, are heard, understood and resonate long beyond broadcast.”

Watching the documentary

Additionally, NITV will also air a suite of programming that examines the issues around Indigenous incarceration in Australia. For example:

  • At 8.30pm on Monday 23 August on Living Black, Karla Grant speaks with justice reformer Debbie Kilroy. Kilroy will tell about how she is standing up for women behind bars, paying unpaid fines for prisoners and why she thinks a world without prisons is possible.
  • On Tuesday 24 August at 7.30pm, The Point will air a special feature interview with Dean Gibson. There will also be  extensive coverage of ongoing death in custody trials.
  • On Monday 30 August at 8.30pm on Living Black, Karla Grant will speak with youth justice advocate Keenan Mundine. Including about how he turned his life around from being an orphan to a life in the criminal justice system to helping youth at risk of incarceration.

Incarceration Nation will premiere Sunday 29 August at 8.30pm

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