Jobs Events Advertise

Charles Darwin University partners with NT government on prison education and training program

Dechlan Brennan -

The Northern Territory government has formalised funding for vocational education and training to be delivered in Territory prisons in the midst of controversy surrounding the NT prison system, with overcrowding and a lack of heat control, as well as issues with staffing, all prevalent.

The partnership between the NT government and Charles Darwin University (CDU), worth $1.7 million per year, will expand on the education and training courses at correctional facilities in Darwin and Alice Springs. The contract is initially for two-years, with an extension possible by mutual agreement.

It is understood CDU has stepped into the fold with the NT government after a previous institution ended their partnership.

The NT currently has the highest incarceration rates per capita in the country with 1127 people per 100,000 incarcerated on any one day in the September quarter of 2023. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, this number was 3487 per 100,000 people.

This month, data showed 2,217 people were incarcerated in the NT - almost 1 per cent of the population. About 41 per cent were on remand.

Advocates have long called for changes to the system, arguing the cycle of incarceration has only continued to increase.

Earlier this month, the Northern Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency (NAAJA) said the riots on Boxing Day in Alice Springs showed the need for new programs to divert people away from incarceration.

"The justice system is broken in the NT and the underlying social problems are getting worse ... and rehabilitation just isn't possible in crowded, 40-degree prisons without adequate programs, air-conditioning or facilities," NAAJA acting chief executive Darryl Pearce said.

The new education partnership is designed to help prisoners transition into life when they are released.

Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Chansey Paech, said education was one step in helping to reduce offending and imprisonment rates.

"Qualifications and accreditations from CDU are widely recognised across the Northern Territory, and will not only prepare prisoners to become work ready but will improve their scope of post-release employment," Minister Paech said.

"CDU's expertise in providing vocational education and training is well established, and this contract is an investment in skills development and training opportunities which will help set prisoners on a better path towards reducing future contact with the justice system."

The NT government said the partnership will allow prisoners to undertake a range of nationally accredited qualifications; skillets; and competency units in retail, hospitality, trade, arts and health sectors.

National Indigenous Times contacted NAAJA for comment.

   Related   

Unis need new angle for attracting Indigenous engineers
The work of Aboriginal engineers has survived thousands of years but universities are missing out on attracting a new generation...
Rudi Maxwell 21 Feb 2024
NSW initiative supporting Aboriginal children to offer a path forward in early-childhood learning
Improving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children's developmental and learning outcomes was on the agenda on Wednesday, a...
Dechlan Brennan 21 Feb 2024
Indigenous education strategies must by informed by First Nations communities - leading expert
A leading education academic has urged policy makers to form partnerships with Indigenous communities and listen to them on clos...
Giovanni Torre 14 Feb 2024
Dr Amos urges tough talks on Indigenous mental health in wake of referendum
Following the unsuccessful Voice to Parliament referendum, James Cook University academic Andrew Amos emphasises the importance...
Joseph Guenzler 13 Feb 2024

   Dechlan Brennan   

Experts say MP's approach to NT youth crime is not evidence-based
Experts have criticised calls from Labor MP Marion Scrymgour for the NT to show “tough love” to juvenile offenders, arguing her...
Dechlan Brennan 23 Feb 2024
Mick Gooda says PM should have adopted "watered down" Voice to secure bipartisan support
Former Australian Human Rights Commissioner and prominent Yes campaigner Mick Gooda says the Prime Minister and fellow Yes campa...
Dechlan Brennan 23 Feb 2024
First Nations Business Trade Fair back in Naarm
The First Nations Business Trade Fair in Naarm was held on Wednesday, on the banks of the Birrarung (Yarra River). Hosted by Su...
Dechlan Brennan 23 Feb 2024
'There need to be consequences for actions' : Legal groups condemn NSW police after guilty officer keeps job
Legal groups in NSW say they are concerned a police officer found guilty of assaulting an Indigenous teenager is still employed...
Dechlan Brennan 22 Feb 2024