Voller isn't innocent: PM adviser Mundine

Lucy Hughes Jones

The prime minister's indigenous adviser has backed a former federal MP who says the public should stop treating Northern Territory teen inmate Dylan Voller like a "martyr".

Voller became the face of the mistreatment of young offenders in the Territory when footage of him being tear-gassed, spit-hooded and shackled to a restraint chair shocked the nation earlier this year and triggered the NT's royal commission into juvenile justice.

The 19-year-old came out of an adult jail on Monday to give evidence at the inquiry, receiving a round of applause and thanks from co-commissioner Mick Gooda for his bravery in coming forward, despite fears of repercussions from prison guards while still in custody.

It drove former Liberal MP Natasha Griggs, who lost her NT seat of Solomon in the 2016 federal election, to remind people on social media of the crimes Voller had committed.

Warren Mundine says while Voller had had a tough and tragic life, he was in detention and wearing a spit-hood for a reason.

"Let's not pretend he is innocent," he told ABC radio on Tuesday.

"It's a tough job to go out every day and have people abuse you and spit on you - you've got to be able to restrain people.

"I think people who jump up and down very quickly ... need to relax a bit."

Ms Griggs suggested the public were blaming the criminal justice system and "everyone else", but never admitting it could be the fault of Voller, his family or their culture.

"I was shocked to see Voller dressed in a suit and looking angelic as he gave evidence," she posted on Facebook on Tuesday.

"Our community (his victims, his neighbours, the police and the correctional services staff) haven't forgotten what he has done.

"Stop making this guy a martyr!"

While sharing his story, Voller said he was starved, stripped and forced to defecate in a pillowcase while locked up as a boy.

He painted a disturbing picture of mental and physical torment, demanding changes to the juvenile justice system and asking for rehabilitation instead of punishment.