Life as a Young, Indigenous, A-class Offender in Australia


– 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

100 thoughts on “Life as a Young, Indigenous, A-class Offender in Australia

  1. Indigenous people of the world stands in solidarity with the indigenous people of Australia. White people destroyed your culture, genocided your people and stole your land. Stay strong, Australian aboriginals!

  2. This is what juvenile hall should look like and be in the United States. They honestly teach them skills so they won't come back or graduate to prison. In the u.s it seems like the juvenile halls just prep the kids for prison and they want them to be repeat customers and graduate to there bigger money maker, prison. The u.s correctional facilities are a fucking disgrace it's a university for crime. The two things that a kid from the 1930s would recognize today would be the public schools curriculum and Juvenal halls and prisons and how they run them in the U.S. The only thing that's really changed in the prison system is that now it's become a business. And like any business they are going to try to have repeat customer$.

  3. South west Sydney represent 😍 My school is literally across the road from the juvie 😂😂Airds High Scholl

  4. All these racists are talking about the aboriginal kids but make no mention of the white kids that are also there. Racism will never make sense–ever.

  5. This is a bullshit documentary. VICE, why don't you tell the whole story of Australia's policies that relegate these people to being a permanent underclass. They have been cut off from Capital, force fed a white washed education, and used as a commodity in the prison system to employ degenerate ass white men as prison guards. GTFOH.

  6. Young abo's are a huge problem in our country. They don't respect their own culture or elders,
    they steal cars, break into homes and assault disabled and elderly people.
    They are nothing but a burden on society.

  7. Excellent film. He was very open and encouraging to the inmates. If we had more people like this rippa of a bloke visiting correctional facilities and chatting with the inmates, Australia's crime rate would be extremely low

  8. This is where Jonah from tonga ended up. He got in a bit of trouble when first got there for punching a ranga but he chilled out a bit and now he can walk around and play Fifa street on his psp.

  9. when i see the start im like what the fuck briggs got locked up??, briggs is from shepparton/mooroopna – half an hour from my house – he is a legend and an influence to me (in a good way) and he does a pretty good job at describing how shit shepparton is

  10. Over representation? Do the crime do the time. Take responsibility for what you've done. Do your time and get over it. Be a man, don't blame on the past or someone hurt your feelings or you think your the wrong colour or everybody else is the wrong colour. Get over it Princess.

  11. Aboriginals going to jail has nothing to do with the white people, white people are fine with aboriginals the same that majority of aboriginals are fine with white people. Australia is highly diverse and isn’t a lot of racism so all the Americans saying how shit white people are, we aren’t the same like shitty Americans and the reason why the kids have a good life is because the Australian Government care for its people and don’t treat humans as objects like the US

  12. Great vid . It always has amazed me that as a white guy living in australia there has never been a aboriginal terrorist organisation . If any race had a reason to do so it would be these guys .I was born overseas and have always lived here like a vistor and have always thought aboriginals got fucked by England.No matter what the government does it will never be enough . Respect to all Abs.

  13. Just because you're poor, uneducated, black and in custody, doesn't mean you can rap. That kid had zero fucken talent. A lot of them think they do. Deluded toys.

  14. The sad thing is these people actually believe the conspiracy lie that they are the first Australians….this is a fake history invented by the British to hide the Indonesian/timorese history of visiting this land since long before the Aboriginal.

  15. Aboriginals people fuck off, you can fuck up your own life no one cares, just leave everyone else who are trying to live a good life alone.

  16. Fkn Vice again. Promoting these violent thugs. They do it in every country. Can't wait till a Vice reporter meets the WRONG bloke.

  17. If Aboriginal kids are in there, they must have done something VERY bad. I know kids who broke into a woman's house, raped her, and cut off her nipples, and they were given bale the next morning, and ordered to serve community service 6 months later.

  18. This detention centre down the road from where I lived my friends mother ran Reiby Gloria Col Cunningham too Airds stuff on Briar Rd off Riverside Dr the circuit of Airds high school cross the road Briar Road public school next to this place hello to all mob fullas from Ctown up there 2560

  19. When I was younger and got into trouble (I'm in Australia) my experience was mostly positive. The police can be harsh but the social services here are great. I was accepted into a youth group house for Indigenous people even though I'm white, and that saved me from going to juvie. All the people I was housed with were great, and the social workers treated us all with dignity and respect, which was mutual. I'm lucky to be Australian but I wish Aboriginals were treated as well as they treated me. Not to go all SJW but mutual respect goes a long way.

  20. Damn them Arabs are taking over! Its said that they are the biggest nationality in all the prisons too , in all of Europe. A person has to claim has Muslim to avoid getting raped, beat up, pinked, and/or robbed.

  21. This ain't shit!! In the US we call Julie "Gladiator Schoil" and that's exactly what it is. Don't get a room with a tv and all that shit. Video games? This looks nicer than a lot of my friends homes growing up

  22. The movie Bad Boys with Sean Penn is actually incredibally accurate in the way it portrays American jive systems. It was filmed in the same facility I was briefly in and where a lotta of us were. THAT'S rough life. This is a fuckin day spa

  23. Are these really Aboriginals, these boys have really been whited out. Maybe the darker Aboriginals have a more messed up prison. Who knows.

  24. I spent 18 months here in the 90s when I was a kid it's changed a fair bit we had no TVs or coffee shop to learn a profession in but had other stuff like metal work and art it's never been a nice or cool place to be and never will be don't judge a book by it's cover behind the nice looking added on buildings it's a place of punishment believe it or not putting a kid in icolation cells for 18 hours will make their attitude change maybe not the first few times but after ten or so you start rethinking about how your gonna treat people it saved me from going onto jail but many it didn't though I guess if you put down a percentage on paper it would have to be about 70% graduate to prison and 30 % go on and live normal lives but still never forget what a locked cell door feels like

  25. I was in rehab with some of these kids. Specifically Reiby, Cobham and Baxter. My rehab was the cheapest youth rehab in NSW so 85 percent of inpatients were court-ordered. I saw some fucking scenes in that house. Some of the nicest and funniest kids you will meet. So much potential squandered by having noone believing in them since birth.

  26. LOL Yeah let's fuel juvenile delinquents with rap music. This will totally set them straight again! :unamused:

  27. As a young aboriginal who has been blessed this is something that I have seen a lot of brothers go theough

  28. Why are the young criminals and thugs in Australia and indeed most countries in the west treated with kid gloves when that just encourages them to commit more crimes?Its exactly the opposite of how they should be treated..The fact crime is increasing in all countries in the west PROVES its not working.Lock up the young thugs and druggies in the adult prisons were they will sh*it themselves even going out their cells and will live in fear every day they are there,.That is the only way they will be encouraged to mend their ways.As it is now they are treated with kid gloves and its not working.

  29. These boys should not be in jail period, society puts a disproportional disadvantage on black and brown boys and girls then judges them on their survival efforts..modern day slavery.

  30. sit on your arse for 40,000 years and do nothing ..whites get deported from united kingdom for stealing a loaf of bread ( displaced) no snivelling and wining ,just build the society you have now in a few hundred years ,now everything is free for you …and you are still whinging

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