You need to hear what Charlie Pickering has to say about Indigenous youth and incarceration.

Charlie Pickering, once again, nails an issue so many fail to understand.

In Australia, Indigenous people are 26 times more likely to be sent to jail than non-Indigenous people.

This is particularly problematic in the Northern Territory — where the number of people in prison per capita is the third highest in the world.

In the territory, 86 per cent of inmates are Indigenous.

Nationally, young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people make up just over five per cent of young Australians. Yet, they comprise more than half of all young people in custody.

As Charlie Pickering put it on The Weekly: “Indigenous youths are as over-represented in our prisons as white people are at our organic farmer’s markets.”

Last night, the comedian and TV host skewered Australia for its racist and prison-happy approach to Indigenous Australians.

Indigenous people are over-represented in prison… like white people are at organic food markets.

According to Pickering, young Aboriginal men in the Northern Territory are being imprisoned – often without paperwork – for embarrassingly trivial crimes.

Related content: “No, Prime Minister. Being Indigenous is not a lifestyle choice.”

For example, one man was thrown in prison for a whole year for possessing $30 of weed. Another received a year of jail time for stealing hamburger buns.

“Oh, we’re jailing people for stealing bread. How very 1788 of us,” Pickering quipped as we hung our heads in shame of our penal code.

Imprisoned for a year. For stealing bread.

The cost to keep a young person incarcerated for a year is $440,000 — the equivalent of an entire undergraduate medical degree (or several of them)


As Pickering pointed out, that is reason alone for detention to be a last resort for youths.”

Earlier this week, Amnesty International delivered a report outlining Australia’s detention rates for Indigenous people.

In the report, Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner, Mick Gooda, says it has reached “epidemic” proportions.

“Two and a half decades on from the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody, our people are more likely than ever to be incarcerated,” he wrote.

Read more: Domestic violence: Aboriginal women are 38 times more likely to be hospitalised.

Amnesty International urges the government to continue support services to keep Indigenous Australians out of prison.

As Pickering warns:

“We are at risk of losing a generation of Indigenous Australians to incarceration. We lost a generation before.”

Watch the full clip:

What do you think Australia should do about it’s high Indigenous incarceration rates?

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