While Indigenous Australians are only two per cent of the national population, they make up 27 per cent of the prison population across the country. In Alice Springs Correctional Centre they're the majority, where, incredibly, 90 per cent of the inmates are Aboriginal, so Living Black went to find out what life is like for some of the men on the inside.
What we found is that inmates are benefititng from a unique model for rehabilitation, in which they not only learn trades, but also digital media skills that will prove fundamental in helping them gain employment, as well as shape a meaningful life during and after prison.
The program started as prison authorities realised it was critical for inmates to learn digital skills, as computer literacy is currently fundamental in improving employment opportunities.
Rob Steer, Director of Custodial Operations, told Living Black, for him it was about "taking, linking up a forty thousand year old culture, or a forty thousand years plus culture, with twenty first century technology.
"We allow the prisoner to create their own stories. You need technology in most jobs these days, so they’re getting an understanding of technology in actually quite an enjoyable way," he said.
The program is run together with technology software company, ITalk.
ITalk founder, Christopher Brocklebank explains literacy isn't an obstacle.
"It doesn't matter how low your literacy is, when you use our "I talk" training software, people can use their visual skills, they can use their language skills, it doesn't matter if it's English or whatever language. And what that gives the men and women is ... confidence and skills with computers for their work and for their life."
The inmates not only create the visuals, they also record the music for their videos
Inmate Leroy Gibson has enjoyed taking part in the program. He feels it has fortered his creativity, given him pride and empowered him for life outside.
"It's really good, you know, like keep you busy, keep your head up. I was proud, you know, when I was doing that video clip. When I see it, I was really proud," he said.
Our thanks to those men for sharing their stories with us.