Ron’s story

I went to Pentridge (when) I was only 17. It was a very scary place. I was only of slight build and so I learned very quickly to adapt to the violence but also to stay strong.

I guess it comes back to father Brosy (Father John Brosnan) who was the Pentridge Chaplain who I met back in 1982 for only 10 minutes and I never forgot him. It’s quite ironic the place that gave me a go was part of Father Brosnan (Ron now works at the Jesuit Social Services’ Brosnan Centre supporting young people in contact with the justice system).

One of the things that I find is a lot of the young blokes I work with, there’s a lack of good positive male role models in their lives. Usually Mum’s on board but usually Dad is a long time gone.

I think what’s important for young people is to have someone they can turn to… where they can convey some of their feelings and thoughts.

And I think they need to look at the support for young people that are involved with youth justice because some young people need a lot more, longer (term) support than others and it’s just ensuring that those supports are in place.

The things that’s forever-and-a-day a problem is housing. If a young person doesn’t have a good roof over their head, it doesn’t matter what supports you put in place, they’re not going to work.