– Hey, it’s Sam from Vice’s Brooklyn office Our colleagues ‘down under’ went to see what maximum security ‘juvee’ is like in Australia This is Briggs, live from ‘juvee’ Officer: A few things to start… – when you come into the center you can’t take mobile phones… – keys… and money inside – Don’t ask the boys what crimes they committed to get into the center Officer: They can go from zero to one hundred in no time… – so if anything happens… just don’t touch them, stand back – there will be youth officers there, let them take care of everything Officer: Okay, do you have any questions ? Briggs: Nah I’m good Briggs: …gotta get this bullshit out of my eyes – It’s an early Sunday morning for Briggs Briggs: I’m here at the Reiby Juvenile Justice Center in Southwest Sydney – I want to go play some music… – I am going to see how these kids are living… – Try and experience… y’know, their day to day… as naturally as it could be. Briggs: It’s locked… it’s a jail. A Jail is locked you idiot. Briggs: Brother how are you ? Sam? I am here to drop him off Sam: He is a bit young Sam: Welcome to Reiby – This is the ‘A-class’ center for under 16 boys in New South Wales – so basically if you are classed as an ‘A-class’ kid this is where you will come – we have a high representation of indigenous boys in the center… – anywhere from up to 60% to 70% can be indigenous kids Inmate: How you going bro ? Briggs: Good bro’s how are you ? Inmate: Are you a rapper ? Briggs: Sometimes… – how about you ? Inmate: Yeah sometimes… I rap. Briggs: Yeah? Inmate: So what are you doing today ? Briggs: Just come to see what you fellas are up to Briggs: What is an ‘A-class’ crime ? Sam: Um… varying from assault, right up to murder – The serious offenders will basically come here Briggs: How you doing bro’s ?
KC: Good, yeah. Briggs: You going to show me around ? Sam: he is on stage three, so he has worked pretty hard to get to this stage… – that is why he gets to walk around in the Adidas top. Briggs: So this is the art room?
KC: yeah KC: I am doing a Goanna (Australian Lizard) Briggs: Oh ‘nard’ (slang for ‘nice) – I’m a … that looks good, what tribe are you ? Briggs: Can you see it on the map? KC: Waka Waka (Wakawaka tribe) Briggs: …Queensland
KC: yeah Briggs: I’m down here… Briggs: Yorta Yorta (Yorta Yorta tribe) Briggs: are you’re Wakawaka Briggs: Is that where your mum is from, or your dad ? KC: Both, my Mum and my Dad Sam: Over here y’know, we have structured programs, the boys know exactly… – what time they’re getting up, what time they’re eating – they’re going to school, so they’ve got all the routines Sam: This is.. uh.. the boys room Sam: let me just, I will do a quick check if that’s alright KC: full sweet Sam: you will notice that the boys shoes are out, they are not allowed to take the shoes inside their rooms KC: this is my room ‘cuz’ – kick back play on the PSP Briggs: So you’re allowed to have a PSP ?
KC: yeah… Sam: they are eligible if they make their points, to get a PSP (Playstation Portable) KC: …you can get whatever you want, Sunsilk…Palm Olive body wash Briggs: Haha, you can get all your locks correct
KC: yeah Briggs: what do you watch? KC: watch?… I just watch the news or something… cartoons … yeah… KC: kickback
Briggs: same! Briggs: that’s all I watch, is news and cartoons too – who you call ?… when do you use the phone ? KC: my mum
Briggs: call mum ? KC: yeah I was talking to her last night Briggs: yeah? did you tell her that I was coming in ?
KC: nah.. Briggs: Tell her I said ‘what’s up’ KC: Yeah KC: Yeah, this is the Ping-Pong room… – …and you can do whatever you want in here, but you can’t eat and drink in here Briggs: Ah… I heard ‘have mercy’, and you have been practicing KC: I have been here for 5 months so… (Everybody laughing) Lee: Every boy in this center has an amazing love for his Mum and Dad… – with the little boys we were talking about… – the ‘Hansel and Gretle’ story. – and the kids were saying “who would abandon their kids ?”… – but then, one of the boys said… – “…well actually I muck up, because I feel like my Mum and Dad abandon me” Sam: then there’s like a turnstile, where the boys are in and out a lot of times. – I’ve seen a boy come in 10 years old and y’know, leave here at 16 Briggs: How long you been in here for ? Buddy: Only got here, like… 6 weeks ago Briggs: Yeah?
Buddy: Yeah. Buddy: I was here before
Briggs: yeah? Buddy: Yeah, wasn’t planning on come back in, but Briggs: Yeah… I don’t think anyone plans to – So you got any cousins in here ? Buddy: Nah… not now… – …before, I was here last time there was heaps, I had heaps of cousins Briggs: Yeah? Buddy: All in the same unit Briggs: Oh true ?
Buddy: Yeah it was mad. Buddy: This is the coffee shop in here, room is there. Briggs: “Hard luck Cafe” Haha! – Who named it that ? Haha! Briggs: So you make the coffees with the visitors? Buddy: Yeah, visitors and workers. Briggs: The workers ? Buddy: The first time… I was in for 8 months. Briggs: Yeah?
Buddy: Yeah. Briggs: Weren’t planning on coming back? Buddy: It’s just coming back to the Coffee shop for me. Sam: This is uh… the curtains for privacy and for checks as well. Because, once they are in their rooms… if they’re is ‘self-harmers’ … – they could be on 5 minute checks until they go to sleep for about an hour – …otherwise Sam: No, no… I am not saying that you are. – …but otherwise, it is 20 minute checks… – you have got to check in every room, every 20 minutes Sam: We are just going to go up to ‘Whiskey Unit’ – We have got a young person there who is on the DRMP the… – ‘Detainee Risk Management Plan’ Briggs: Yeah Sam: Now um… he will be in a.. ‘suicide gown’ – So… don’t be alarmed – you have, also have youth officers there with him. They will have the helmet on Sam: Because young person has a tendency to… – sometimes spit at people… lash out – So just uh, be mindful of that Sam: I bought you, someone special to meet Briggs: How you doing brother ? Briggs: Yeah ? Briggs: ah…I heard you’re from Albury ? Briggs: Yeah, I am from Shepparton… – I’ve got heaps of family in Albury – North of bridges, where the airport is and that ? – What are you playing ? Briggs: I don’t know how to play, come on you’d have to teach me – How old are you ? – Fifteen ? When did you turn fifteen ? – How long have you been up here for ? – Ah yeah, what’s that… six months ? – What do you want to do when you get out ? – Yeah? – How are you finding it…how you finding working with… with Sam ? Sam: It can’t be ! I’m eating all the chocolates, I’m the one putting on the weight, not you ! Briggs: Yeah! – Yeah? Sam: He wrote a rap actually.
Briggs: Did you ? Sam: He has… but, uh… Briggs: Do you remember it?
Dizzy: Yeah… – can… can I hear it ? Sam: Yeah do it!, come on, do it… Briggs: ‘Bruz’… – my ‘bruddah’ (slang for ‘brother’) Briggs: Thanks for the time brothers, thanks for talking to me and having a chat Dizzy: Yeah… Briggs: Good to see you open… Y’know what I mean ? – and maybe find that blonde thing ? – Haha…. when you get back there ? Dizzy: Yeah… Briggs: Look after yourself, y’know what I mean ?… take care of yourself – and I will see you back home ‘bruz’ (‘brother’) Briggs: You know, I was sitting with the young fella with the ‘suicide gown’ on, he just turned 15… – …he hasn’t even lived… – a life to end it yet Briggs: We are going to go do a show – I’m going to do some tracks, and we’re going to… – perform and do something, and I’m gonna talk to the kids. Briggs: What’s that ? Briggs: …I will figure it out, I will figure it out as I go along – I just won’t swear… simple – You should do that thing where you punish everyone else, so I feel really bad about it Sam: yeah, If you swear we’ll write up all the kids… Sam: …just because they heard me Briggs: one of my DJ’s, so… – because, you can’t teach me a lesson… – so you have to teach him a lesson, to make me understand empathy Sam: Come on Sam: Because it’s an ‘A-Class’ center it is very hard to organize programs where they can actually mix… – you know, there is a lot of risk assessment they gave into… – obviously the boys that can’t mix won’t calm down and unfortunately… – that’s just the way it is Sam: It can be a nightmare, but this is a really good nightmare to have… – because, that’s what these boys need – A lot of the times in their life, they don’t have a lot of positive role models… Sam: Okay boys! – everybody put your hands together for… – “Briggs” Briggs: Thank you ( Briggs – ‘Bad Apples’ ) Briggs: I remember when I was your age, a few of my cousins got locked up… – and that was only my first taste, of um… someone my own age… – going into the system, and that… – and that’s why now, it’s important for me to come back – come out and talk to… – fellas like yourselves… – want to let you know that, there are fellas out here… – outside thinking, about you… and want to help Briggs: that depends brothers, like… one song can take… – you can spend a couple of hours on it, and some songs… – might mean more to you, so you might spend more time… – writing it, and changing it, and making it right… Briggs: heaps! – heaps!… nah… – he’s a natural !… wooh! – he’s a natural ! Sam: Thank you boys!… Briggs: How you doing ‘bruz’ ? Good ? Tilz: How you going brother ? Sam: We’ve bought up Briggs because, you know, you couldn’t come down to the hall to see the performance… – but I wanted him to…come and meet you Tilz: Yeah? Briggs: I wanted to come up and say ‘hello’ man – show me your room ? Tilz: alright… Briggs: who’s this little one ? – yeah? how long you been in here for ? Tilz: uh, I’ve done 6 months…got another 3 to go bro… but I’ve still got more charges to come Briggs: yeah… how old are you ? Tilz: 15, turn 16 on 23rd October, ‘bruh’… Briggs: yeah? Tilz: Hopefully when I get out… – I can change my life around ‘bruddah’, I want to maybe do some boxing ‘cuz’… – because I like fighting ‘bruh’… – …it’s a good thing, but… Briggs: Do it… – you do it the right way, you can do it, make it a good thing eh, not a negative ? Tilz: yeah bro… I don’t know, a few my cousins, I kicked the front fence out… – and ran around the front compound, I ran out my cousins… Briggs: Drop kicked it ? Tilz: nah… like ‘Kangaroo’ kicked it – and then yeah like… they put me on down, up here – that’s like, I had the ‘Detainee Risk Management Plan’ Briggs: So you can’t do school while your on ‘DRMP’ ? Tilz: Nah… can’t do it ‘bruddah’ – because I am not allowed to go with sharp objects in that place… Briggs: Yeah? – I only got all my toiletries and photo’s and that back… they would… like… – Friday ‘cuz’ Briggs: get it… that would be good eh? having your sisters back there ? Tilz: yeah ‘bruh’ its heaps better because it’s something to remind me of… Briggs: the good things eh? Tilz: Yeah like a… – good thing… I only just got my access to go like out in the front part there ‘cuz’ – get some Sun !… – I’m turning white ‘bruddah’ ! haha! – I’m better out, ‘bruddah’… – yeah I’ve been good, so if they don’t get me off on Tuesday… Briggs: Yeah Tilz: Turn out… that will be good ‘bruh’ Briggs: stay off them roof’s and stop ‘Kangaroo’ kicking… Tilz: true bro ! … it’s not worth it ‘cuz’, gets me stuffed Briggs: Any time you feel like that man, just remember… Tilz: yeah my mum and my sisters… – know what I mean?… that’s the bigger picture ‘bruz’ Briggs: You know, this system is… I don’t like it, never have… – but it’s great to see people, genuine people… – with a genuine heart… – working with the kids… – to try and help them, keep out of the system – the difference these kids… – have with… – the opportunities that they’ve been afforded aren’t the same, there’s a lot of potential… – you know, behind… – you know… all this razor wire… – it would be a shame to lose all of that