Let’s Talk… Social Justice with Debbie Kilroy

In this episode of Let’s Talk…Social Justice, Kevin Yow Yeh talks with lawyer, prison and police abolitionist, and CEO of Sisters Inside, Debbie Kilroy.
Debbie was incarcerated in 1989 for six years, and after her release she established Sisters Inside to advocate for the rights of women and girls in prison.

Sisters Inside has won international acclaim for its work, and for a unique organisational structure which ensures that it is driven by women inside prison. As CEO of Sisters Inside, Debbie is a tireless advocate for the interests of criminalised women and girls, and actively works to dismantle the prison industry.

Debbie Kilroy is also the first person in Australia who has serious convictions to be admitted by the Supreme Court of Queensland as a practicing solicitor, and she is one of Queensland’s most prominent criminal defense lawyers.

In today’s conversation, Kevin talks to Debbie about the legal implications of the amendments to the Youth Justice Act, and the ways that they are likely to impact young people in Queensland. They talk through the amendments that have been passed, how they will operate in practice, and what this means for young people who are already being criminalised and targeted by police in Queensland.

Finally, they round out their conversation by reflecting on the many alternatives that already exist that could better address the problems that these amendments pretend to solve. And they ask how it is that we live in a place and time where it’s easier to imagine locking kids up than it is to imagine ending youth detention.