This article originally appeared on newmatilda website on 28 June 2020.



SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: Data from Australia’s criminal justice system shows clearly that we’re failing to rehabilitate children, while making them more likely to reoffend. And yet kids as young as 10 are still being charged with criminal offences. Warwick Jones investigates.

A 10-year-old Aboriginal girl wearing pigtails and a school uniform walks into the Geelong Children’s Court, dwarfed beside two welfare workers. It’s late autumn, 2015. The girl’s been taken out of her grade four class to come before the court charged with stealing a phone.

She’d been removed from her family home and placed into state care. On the day of the alleged offence she was found in a neighbour’s car trying to call her mum.