Leaking roofs, seats held together with gaffer tape, flooded toilets, broken heating and broken plug sockets. If our hospitals or schools looked like this, there’d be a public outcry. But these are our courts, so no-one really cares.
The cuts to criminal justice have become visible in the furniture of the court system, but they go much further than that. They are eroding the basic principles it operates under.
Next year, legal aid reaches its 70th birthday. It is a landmark principle that justice should be free to everyone, that publicly-funded legal advice should be available to those accused of a crime by the state.
On July 13, 2015, the unthinkable happened to the family of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old who was a “bright, beautiful, outspoken, bold, caring, loving and intelligent individual,” says her sister Shante Needham.
Three days after being arrested during a routine traffic stop, Bland was found hanging in a jail cell in Waller County, Texas. She had been pulled over by state trooper Brian Encinia, who told her it was because she had failed to signal a lane change. Later, dashcam footage would reveal Encinia asking Bland to put out her cigarette.
all credits: Green Left published: 8 November 2018
About 50 people held a silent march through the beachside suburb of Manly on November 3 against Aboriginal deaths in custody.
Relatives of five victims of the racist criminal justice system who died in police or prison custody were present. These included the families of David Gundy, who died in 1989, TJ Hickey (2004), Mark Mason (2010), Eric Whittaker (2017) and Nathan Reynolds (2018).
Many Aboriginal and non-Indigenous supporters also attended the silent march, which was the eleventh of its kind organised by the Indigenous Social Justice Association (ISJA) in Sydney and regional New South Wales over recent months.