Thank you to Joyce and Colin Clague for organising Saturday’s Inside Outside Forum held in South Grafton with passionate speakers, Debbie Kilroy OAM and Professor Judy Atkinson.
The Forum highlighted the impacts of the prison systems on the community. Prisons are a hidden world for those of us lucky enough not to be involved and yet we should be aware of what goes on here in our own community. The statistics yell at us that prisons are not the answer. Prisons cost a lot of money and are funded by our tax system. Some prisons, including our new prison, are run by private operators, for profit. Prisons harm people but this new mega prison will be opening soon in our community. A large proportion of the prison population is indigenous and 30% of female prisoners are First Nations people.
The Clarence Valley community needs to know how to reduce the harm done to people both inside and outside prisons. We are responsible and need to change how we talk about this issue, just as we have changed how we now talk about mental illness, openly. We need more information and positive, collaborative community involvement to help anyone impacted by this prison.
Susan Howland, Yamba