The National Network of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls calls for the Victorian Government to abandon plan to implement Electronic Monitoring of Children

As a National Network we are outraged at the recent announcement by the Victorian
government to introduce electronic monitoring, in the form of ankle shackles, for children. As an organisation committed to justice, safety and well-being of the children and young people in our communities, we strongly oppose this move as it extends carcerality into our communities and inflicts unnecessary cruelty on children.

Premier, Jacinta Allan and Attorney General, Jaclyn Symes must answer why they are implementing measures that have proven ineffective in other places. This draconian proposal raises critical questions: why subject our children to the hardship of ankle bracelets when there is no evidence of their success in any other jurisdiction? How much public funding will be squandered on this failed approach? And why implement a measure that many experts are saying will do more harm than good?

‘The racial animus is always present in these types of policy decisions. We know that this measure will disproportionately affect Aboriginal children, continuing the historical trend of unjust policies targeting Indigenous communities. Our kids need care and support, not chains,’ said Tabitha Lean. ‘Placing our kids under surveillance does not address the significant issues our children face every day in a racialised colony. All it will do, is disrupt their lives, stigmatise them, and further entrench them in a system that should be focused on supporting them to live happy, healthy and productive lives, not punishing them or the impacts of colonisation,’ said Tabitha Lean.

‘As a National Network, we stand against any measure that further marginalises our
young ones and call for a redirection of resources towards community-based support and care,’ said Debbie Kilroy. ‘Electronic monitoring is not the answer; it’s an extension of carceral logics into our community and is a retrograde step and shows a lack of willingness by the government to consider ways to keep our children in their communities surrounded by care and support, not under the weight of surveillance and suspicion,’ said Debbie Kilroy.

The National Network urge the government to urgently reconsider this misguided proposal and work with organisations such as ours to develop initiatives that uplift and empower our youth. It is possible to create a just and safe world without resorting to punishment and shackles, we just have to invest in our young people and in community-based solutions.

The National Network of Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls represents women, girls, feminine identifying and non-binary people who are currently in prison, who have been to prison, those who are currently living within the confines of the criminal injustice system and those who have exited the system.

Our Network in Australia was founded in 2020 by Debbie Kilroy of Sisters Inside and
remains an abolitionist organisation committed to ending the incarceration of women and girls. Collectively we argue that prison will never be a safe place for women or girls, and in fact they are places that entrench poverty, increase trauma and cause further social and economic harm. Prisons, in our opinion, do not result in an increase in public or community safety.


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