Locking up kids damages their mental health and leads to more disadvantage. Is this what we want?

Reports this week of an Indigenous boy with a disability held naked for days in a Brisbane police cell have once again raised the issue of how best to treat our most vulnerable young offenders, and the impact of their incarceration.
These impacts are long-term and stark, affecting both young people’s mental health and the course of their lives. Indigenous children and those with a disability are among children particularly at risk of the impacts of incarceration.

How does locking up young people in juvenile detention or in police cells affect their future? And how can we prevent them getting caught up in the juvenile justice system in the first place?

This week’s example in Brisbane comes just a month after the ABC Four Corners investigation Inside the Watch House, which exposed Queensland’s increasing use of police cells (or watch houses) to hold children as young as 10, sometimes for several weeks.

Read the full story here.