Building prisons is taking crime seriously?

Morning Report: Is Govt’s $1B figure for building 1,800 new prison beds far too low? We crunch the numbers with Judith Collins.

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Interview (audio): Corrections Minister Collins on the prison muster blowout

It may more the consequence of reacting to pressure to increase prison sentences.

A minority of prisoners are straight out bad and may be beyond rehabilitation.

But many of those in prison are failures of our society. Locking away those failures doesn’t address the causes.

 

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56 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  19th October 2016

    “Having to build prisons isn’t a great reality but that is the consequence of crime and of this society taking it seriously.”

    Perceptions again. Brand Collins. I can even imagine the graphic (above) as an election hoarding or there across the bottom half page of the newspaper over breakfast. Reassuring and firm, caring and in control, Mother giving us the, “this is for your own good” talk.

    There’s the thought for the day while attending the necessary tasks of the day, “Judith Collins – Mother of the Nation.” ๐Ÿ„ ๐Ÿ„ ๐Ÿ„ ๐Ÿ„

    Reply
  2. I would point out that further work on drug law and penalties would probably free up a lot of beds too, while saving the govt coin, using Airforce NH90s to look for cannabis in the bush I hear costs something like 40k per hour………….

    Reply
    • tautoko Shane

      The whole ‘War on Drugs’ & zero-tolerance approach (esp. cannabis) is well ‘past its useby date’ BUT Collins & ‘Team Key’ just don’t get it !

      which again; makes me wonder.. who is really pulling their strings ? :/

      I saw old footage of Pres. Reagan & the Bush Snr. saying this sort of stuff in the 1980-90s. The real issue.. if you build more prisons, they will just keep filling them, rather than looking at rational alternatives: drug treatment/rehab. & mental health issues too. (not in prison)

      Reply
    • Pragmatism aside, Collins is part of the problem because she puts politics above justice.
      Liberty is a natural right, and she is part of a conspiracy which injures this through false legislation, i.e. fraud in colour of law.

      Reply
      • Bill

         /  19th October 2016

        Be cheaper to get Tribal Huk to do our drug enforcement, they could give all the Meth dealers a cut lunch and send them on their way.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  19th October 2016

          I wasn’t impressed with Mr Pink. His violent solution-drag people behind the ute-makes him as much of a crim as the people he is opposed to. He isn’t above the law, and moving a criminal on to some other town isn’t helpful.

          Liberty may be a right, but criminals are generally taken to have forfeited that right, Uggers. I can’t see how charging and imprisoning them is a conspiracy involving false legislation. I’d say that you haven’t been on the receiving end of a crime.

          Reply
          • Bill

             /  19th October 2016

            Like always you speak with very little knowledge of the how real world works Kitty, sitting in your ivory litter box.

            The towns people are very impressed with what Mr Pink has achieved in such a short time, something the police will never do even wilt another $15 million.

            Plus don’t assume you know anything about me or what I’ve experienced in my life.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th October 2016

              I was talking to Uggers about the crime-he seems to think that law enforcement is a conspiracy against freedom.

              Some people in the town are not impressed by Mr Pink.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th October 2016

              Shifting drug dealers up the road isn’t an answer. All that does is land another town with the same problem, which is rather antisocial. I wonder if the dealers have all left Ngaruawahia; the deadline is long gone.

              If you have a blowfly, you don’t let it out the window and think that the problem is now gone.

            • Bill

               /  19th October 2016

              Yeah, yeah ,yeah but what you miss is the shit Meth dealers put their customers through. Because this is an illegal activity they become the law when someone can’t pay up and a host of other things.

              I know for a fact that women have been raped for payment and young men have had petrol poured into their mouths and cigarettes stubbed out in their eye’s.
              The rub is, these people rarely go to the police for help.

            • @kck

              of course this Govt. could take an alternative view (as in other OECD countries) & decrim./regulate ‘drugs’ (esp Cannabis) & put the ‘Gangs’ out of business ?! :/

              ‘which really makes me wonder…………..’ ๐Ÿ˜€

            • Zedd

               /  19th October 2016

              Its called a ‘Police State’ where building/filing prisons & increased crime (arrest/prosecute/punish) is actually the REAL motive for their actions.. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

              B-S is still B-S, regardless of who spews it out :/

            • It’s the post-apocalyptic solution Miss Kitty … Mad Max and ‘neo-tribalism’ … meet violence with violence … Jesus never happened … and perhaps an admission the apocalypse has already occurred?

              “It’s a move Mr Key says he welcomes.

              “Obviously we welcome any support to do something like that so long as it’s legal of course,” he [Key] said on Monday.”

              Except it can’t be done legally, can it? Otherwise the police could do it? Or are they too busy hunting down those ultra-violent, long-haired, mega-wicked “gateway” medicinal herb growers?

              Mr Pink’s “anti-meth in my town” gang is okay I guess? Send the meth dealers to Huntly and Hamilton? And he gets a second chance, having offended in the past … Go figure …?

              Post-Truth is alive and well and dragging people behind utes in a town near you.

              http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/john-key-welcomes-support-from-tribal-huk-to-fight-meth-2016101717

            • @PZ

              like it.. ๐Ÿ™‚

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th October 2016

              Mr Pink has drug and other convictions himself.Do as I say, not as I do.

              Why doesn’t he work with the law to assist people to stop using these drugs ? All the talk here about marijuana is obfuscation. There is a massive difference between the two types of drug. Obscuring the issue by talking about marijuana will do nothing to address the P problem.

              I know Ngaruawahia and know people who live there, and the ‘deserted streets’ is nonsense.

              If people don’t ask for help, they can’t expect to be given it.

              Legalise P and other hard drugs ? What a naive idea. It’s enough of a problem now, we don’t want a return to the days when people could buy hard drugs (and morphine) from the chemist.

              I have yet to see or hear of anyone being dragged out of town behind a ute. That’s just big talk. Anyone doing it would be put inside for a very long time.

          • “Liberty may be a right, but criminals are generally taken to have forfeited that right, Uggers”.

            They’re not real criminals if the purported law they broke is nothing more than the Crown’s public policy.

            “I canโ€™t see how charging and imprisoning them is a conspiracy involving false legislation.”

            It’s because legislation is dependent upon sovereignty, and Parliament doesn’t possess the essential qualities of sovereignty, one of which is wisdom. To explain, it is unwise to swear an oath of allegiance to a head of a state of atheism, especially when an oath is an act of religion. The atheism of the state is its misrepresentation of the common law by way of omission of the theism inherent to the common law.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th October 2016

              Burglars don’t see burglary as wrong, rapists think that rape is acceptable, violent people see violence as a way of life. Ergo, to them crime is not criminal. There must be an agreed, common definition of crime. Most of us see theft, rape and murder as wrong even if those doing it don’t.

              An oath isn’t necessarily an act of religion Nor is NZ a state of atheism. The rest of your post is muddled thinking.

            • Crime, as an offense punishable by law, is defined by law. Common law crimes require intent and a victim.

              Jurare est Deum in testum vocare, et est actus divini cultus. To swear is to call God to witness, and is an act of religion. 3 Co. Inst. 165. Vide 3 Bouv. Inst. n. 3180, note; 1 Benth. Rat. of Jud. Ev. 376, 371, note.
              http://www.lawfulpath.com/ref/bouvier/maxims.shtml

              The NZ state is of atheism because its assertion of legitimacy involves adversely misrepresenting the role of deity in law.

              Your misapprehension of the nature of an oath indicates that the muddled thinking is yours alone.

            • Gezza

               /  19th October 2016

              What is the role of deity in law and which deity are you referring to Uggers?

  3. Simple: Building more prisons is IN ITSELF an utter indictment upon our society …

    Go duperez ! She’s one HELL of a ‘Mother’ all Right!!!

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  19th October 2016

      And your much better solution to the problem of crime is…..?

      Reply
      • Asking that question would be fine Miss Kitty, if you yourself ever offered any solutions …

        But I don’t see it …

        However, I’ll have a think about that and get back to you later …

        Reply
      • Klik Bate

         /  19th October 2016

        Reply
        • Zedd

           /  19th October 2016

          @KB

          this again.. ‘the final solution’ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

          Reply
        • Some gallows humour there from Klik Bate. ๐Ÿ˜€ Ha ha ha …

          Do you reckon you could pull the trapdoor yourself? :-/

          Reply
          • Klik Bate

             /  19th October 2016

            Absolutely. As well as positioning the rope just ahead of the left ear.

            Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  19th October 2016

            I don’t offer solutions as I don’t have any and am not qualified to do so. I have opinions, but I am not working in this field and have no expertise-or claim to have any solutions that would work.

            But if capital punishment was a deterrent, the US would have the lowest murder rate in the OECD-it has either the highest or one of the highest.

            Teina Porou and Arthur Allan Thomas would have been hanged. So would David Docherty, in all probability. It would have been a bellylaugh for Malcolm Rewa to see some mug hanged for one of his crimes.

            Women would be much more likely to get away with murder, as juries have historically been reluctant to send women to the gallows.

            At the time of one of NZ’s last hangings, two very similar murders happened. One was a semi-literate English immigrant who shot his ex girlfriend in a coffeebar with a gun that was old and faulty-he said that he hadn’t meant to shoot her, but wasn’t believed.

            The other was a young woman, a medical student, who bailed her ex up in a men’s loo and shot him at close range, killing him. There was no way that this was not deliberate murder.

            He was hanged, she was let off and went on to have a lucrative medical career.Much was made of her being blonde, pretty and of a good family as if that somehow made her crime less serious.

            The last hanging was, I think, a farmer who was accused of poisoning his wife with arsenic although there was arsenic occurring naturally in the ground/water and he was ill as well.

            Reply
            • Semantics Kitty, we’re all offering solutions in the form of opinions, including and perhaps notably our politicians …

              You’ve made a good start. There are several important ‘solutions’ implied in your comments –

              1. No capital punishment.
              2. Seek justice rather than a conviction.
              3. Justice must be blind (although not without discernment, flexibility and discretion)
              4. Expert evidence should always be presented independently, not “for” the prosecution or “on behalf of” the defence.

              I go along with those. I also offer –

              – Rectify [as much as reasonably possible] the wrongs, inequalities and iniquities in society that can cause “crimes of poverty”
              – Abandon the prosecution of Victimless Crimes
              – Identify and treat mental illness and personality disorders where possible. When serious mental disorders are evident criminally, suitable secure establishments should be available
              – offer all avenues of restitution, compensation and reconciliation in cases of minor property crimes where conviction can be avoided …
              – target deterence of those same crimes, especially burglary and shoplifting …
              – make “shame” and learning part of the punishment regime especially for young offenders …
              – … others might like to add things …?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th October 2016

              I don’t agree that all expert witness must be independent. The defence must be able to challenge experts and this can likely only be done by calling their own expert. However, IMO expert witnesses should be required to present science, not opinions.

  4. Zedd

     /  19th October 2016

    does anyone remember the old movie (1980s ?) about New York city, being walled & turned into a maximum security prison.. maybe Crusher has this planned for a city in NZ !? :/

    “LOCK ‘EM ALL UP !!!”

    Reply
  5. Those opting for no more prisons have a case (marginally). I would prefer to see more Drug and Alcohol detoxification centres with high security to prevent escape of inmates. Treatment should be the focus. Decriminalisation of drugs will just continue the decline and fall of Western Civilisation. Look how hard it is to stop people smoking?

    Reply
  6. Zedd

     /  19th October 2016

    @bjm1

    ‘..decriminalisation of drugs will just continue the decline & fall of western civilsation..’

    Oh really. if you look at a map of the world.. showing current Drug policy. It is the OECD/West (esp. EU) that have further moved to decrim./regulate drugs, this has actually reduced overall crime. Meanwhile much of Asia are pushing ‘Zero-tolerance’ & ramping up America’s drug war

    NZ is falling to the back of the pack (with Asia) & building MORE prisons.. WRONG strategy !

    What about… ‘Freedom of Choice’ all we have here is ‘Freedom FROM choice’

    Reply
    • Zedd

       /  19th October 2016

      btw; IF prohibition really is the only way to solve the ‘drug problems’ in NZ, then they should level the playing field & ban Alcohol & Tobacco too.

      Reply
    • Zedd, okay mate, you can go to hell in your own way, but don’t expect me to lift a finger to help you because of your lack of awareness about what drugs are doing to your mental and physical well=being. Drugees affect the wider community and thus need to be regulated. You can’t walk down the road and shoot someone dead because you chose too. That is uncivilised.

      Reply
      • “Drugees affect the wider community and thus need to be regulated.”

        Non sequitur – the fact that A affects B doesn’t imply that a need exists. Drug use can be beneficial or harmful depending on circumstance.

        Reply
      • Bill

         /  19th October 2016

        @bjm1 I think this Abraham Maslow sums up what Zedd is saying.

        “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”

        Reply
      • @bjm1

        I think you’ve been listening to OR reading a load of generalised misinfo. mate ?

        Alcohol & Tobacco actually cause more deaths & societal harm, than all the illegal drugs (>5k deaths from tobacco & >1000 from alcohol annually, then add the road toll, associated with alcohol) & yet the law says ‘well thats just fine.. we’ll stick with an outdated ill-linformed set of laws that criminalises everyone who DARES smoke a joint or partake of other DRUGS instead’
        Hopefully no-one will notice its all B-S ! :/

        Reply
        • Zedd, yes, it is all B-S-, particularly your comment. I am talking about alcohol, maryjane, heroin, crystal meth, ice, etc etc. Most of the criminal drunks are drivers with a mix of alcohol and another drug. None are so blind as those who do not see!

          Reply
    • “Freedom of Choice” … the central pillar of neoliberalism … How’s that going for us …?

      Reply
      • Bill

         /  19th October 2016

        Very limited freedom and little or no choice.

        Reply
      • Bill

         /  19th October 2016

        Pillars of freedom reminds me of the switched on gardener case, where the Police described how they destroyed the cornerstone of Cannabis production in New Zealand.
        YEAH RIGHT

        Reply
      • Freedom of choice must be exercised in a humane and intelligent environment. Will I kill her? Or won’t I? I will exercise freedom of choice! Sorry mate, life is not like that. Ever heard of discipline? Its how people make mature judgements about events instead of doing whatever they feel like doing. Your solution has a name, its called anarchy!

        Reply
        • Bill

           /  19th October 2016

          WOW bj ” Will I kill her? Or wonโ€™t I?” Is this the kind of internal dialogue you’ve had to rationalise in your head? You talk as if these are choices we all make on a daily basis, if it is we are all fu@#$% mate.

          Reply
  7. Bill

     /  19th October 2016

    I think the Methadone program shows how a different strategy can work.

    The court is well aware that property crimes committed in the pursuit of drugs, is better managed with regulated access to drugs. This also helps contain disease transfer and overdose risks.

    This is way cheaper than prison and more likely to deliver results.

    Reply
  8. Alan Wilkinson

     /  19th October 2016

    $550K per prison bunk which is around the cost for a luxury hotel in the US. And we wonder why NZ houses are expensive now.

    Reply
    • But Alan, do NZ Government taxpayer funded penal institution bunks actually bear any relationship or resemblance whatsoever to private NZ houses?

      The ancillary benefits for National of taking this “serious” and meaningful step to combat crime probably more than compensates for the caviar per bed cost? It constitutes more hard evidence of National’s responsiveness to the concerns of their citizens, and hard evidence of “efficiency and productivity” in the government sector. Hell, it’s gotta be all-round great value in political terms!

      After all, it took a lot of very expensive think tanks and spin doctors to come up with this stunning strategic policy initiative …

      It’s getting like that though eh? The best and most expensive political, scientific and media minds employed to manipulate the archiac, disproven and useless so it appears new, original, modern, exciting and “cutting edge” …

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  19th October 2016

        Obviously it represents a failure to combat crime, not progress.

        Reply
  9. Zedd

     /  19th October 2016

    just a thought.. the prison muster is rapidly approaching 10k (apparently amongst the highest level per capita in OECD). Ms Collins has announced they are about to spend about $1billion on 1800 extra beds. SO.. why not just decrim. cannabis & release these ‘offenders’ OR transfer them to treatment (not in prison) ?
    I hear that about 2,000 at any one time are locked up for such ‘offences’ (costing >$90k/year each)

    As has been often stated; why not spend the money trying to keep people out of prison, rather than see it as the MAJOR solution, to all our societal problems ?!

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  19th October 2016

      Absolutely agree, Zedd. Plus the serious mental health component probably entwined in drug abuse.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  19th October 2016

        the word I hear; is that the vast majority of youth who go to prison for ‘drug offences’ (often cannabis possession over 1 ounce or cultivation for personal use) always come out WORSE, not ‘rehabilitated’ & often go on to more serious crime (due to association with ‘hardened crims’. inside) after release.

        Most of what Ms Collins & co. spew is purely political spin to ‘fool the gullible’ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

        Reply
        • @ Zedd – It’s worse than “purely political spin” IMHO. If youth cannabis offending and punishment is as you say, and the government knows these *facts*, the ‘spin’ means only one thing. They – our government – which is actually “us” essentially – “we” collectively – are happy, willing accomplices to sending Aotearoa-NZ’s youth on their journey to criminality …

          This is pure unadulterated malignancy as far as I’m concerned and I intensely dislike being complicit in it.

          Reply
          • What purpose does all this serve? Well, the police, courts and prisons have all become govt service industries. Their raw material is criminals. Their resources include labour [employment creation] and physical infrasture requiring construction and maintenance. They all require both bureaucratic and workplace management.

            Their tangible value-added product is … What? … probably ‘More criminals’? More hardened criminals are more valuable raw material!

            The Police, Justice and Penal systems are not in the business of putting themselves out of business, are they? They have a vested interest in things either getting worse – creating more demand – or staying as they are – e.g. in prisons not becoming educational, vocational training or community centres …

            Or perhaps sites of local productive industry … ?

            I guess its true, “building prisons is taking crime seriously”, but only in total isolation from the unethical, dishonourable, deceiptful, treacherous and iniquitous aspects of society upon which crime festers …

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  19th October 2016

              Obviously the answer is to privatise the prison system and incentivise the providers to fix recidivism, ie to prepare, release and assist them into a decent life rather than crime.

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