‘Sensible sentencing’ spokesperson sees sense and tries a different approach

A Sensible Sentencing Trust Spokesperson seems to have seen sense, has quit, and is switching from promoting longer prison sentences to focussing more on rehabilitation and reintegration.

And Minister of Justice Andrew Little labels leaders ‘loopy’ and ‘callous’ 

Scott Guthrie, a senior figure and spokesman for Sensible Sentencing Trust, told the Herald he had quit the trust believing it had achieved little that made New Zealand safer and that longer prison sentences were not the answer to crime and justice problems.

He has now set up the new Transforming Justice Foundation, saying rehabilitation and finding ways to help prisoners rejoin society without reoffending is the key to cutting crime.

That’s the direction all parties in Parliament are increasingly looking – despite grizzling about the suggested ditching of 3 strikes David Seymour (ACT) has proposed incentives for prisoners to get qualifications while inside.

Guthrie and the Foundation are set for a meeting with Minister of Justice Andrew Little in the next fortnight. In contrast, the Sensible Sentencing Trust had one meeting last year and hasn’t been seen in the Beehive since.

The Trust has previously held a pivotal role in crime and justice debates, pushing for longer sentences and more restrictive bail and parole conditions.

In an interview with the Herald, Little said he had not met the group this year.

“I have a problem specifically with Garth McVicar who has a bit of a track record of what I think are some pretty loopy views”.

Most recently, there was McVicar offering police “congratulations” over the shooting of a young man which meant “one less to clog the prisons”.

“It completely trivialised the position of police officers in that situation. I thought there’s something unhealthy about that set of views that I don’t think is helpful to a debate about criminal justice reform.”

Little also had concern about a comment on a blog by Sensible Sentencing Trust lawyer David Garrett, the former Act MP.

In the wake of the Herald reporting a spike in suicides in our crowded prison system, Garrett wrote: “No one with half a brain cares if the kind of people featured on this blog under the title ‘Meet a second striker’ commit suicide in jail… and neither would you, if you cared a fig for their victims.”

Little said: “The idea you just callously say it’s okay if they commit suicide – that’s not a set of values that I want to be anywhere the debate about reforming our criminal justice system.”

National’s justice spokesman Mark Mitchell said he would meet with any group that wanted to be involved in the crime and justice debate.

However, he said he did “not support or condone” comments such as those made by McVicar or Garrett.

‘Tough on crime’ is gradually changing to having to make tough decisions about the failure of our justice and prison system to prevent many prisoners from re-offending.

Guthrie told the NZ Herald he had an “amicable” split with the Trust.

“It certainly felt like a big step but I couldn’t see the sense in carrying on and getting nowhere quickly.

“It’s not easy when you have a board of trustees and committee that says we’re going to focus on punishing people harshly.”

Guthrie said he was opposed to an advocacy line which insisted on increasingly tougher sentencing.

“It’s not working. It’s a big shift but it’s a shift we need to take.”

Guthrie said he believed in prison – “I’m certainly not soft on crime” – but he was fully supportive of Little’s aims to reduce the prison population through early intervention, rehabilitation and projects that helped inmates safely return to the community.

Sounds more sensible than the hard line ‘Sensible Sentencing’ approach that has not worked well.

Guthrie was backed by former police inspector Tania Baron, who had joined the Transforming Justice Foundation after resigning from police in April.

Baron said reducing the percentage of those who reoffended was key to making New Zealand safer.

I can’t find a website for the Transforming Justice Foundation, but perhaps they don’t need one if they are getting high level access.

The Office of the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser released a heavily-researched report in March which said simplistic “tough on crime” dogma from “vocal, professional lobbyists” had led to media and political pickup and a higher prison population.

But instead of making New Zealand safer, the report found prisons were “extremely expensive training grounds for further offending”.

We keep imprisoning more people in response to dogma not data, responding to shifting policies and media panics, instead of evidence-based approaches to prevention, intervention, imprisonment and rehabilitation.”

But McVicar isn’t giving up.

In a recent interview with the Herald, McVicar dismissed academic and scientific advice around criminal justice.

He said politicians should ignore research-based evidence and listen instead to public opinion.

Justice by public opinion is a really dumb idea.

62 Comments

  1. Corky

     /  June 22, 2018

    ”Scott Guthrie, a senior figure and spokesman for Sensible Sentencing Trust, told the Herald he had quit the trust believing it had achieved little that made New Zealand safer and that longer prison sentences were not the answer to crime and justice problems”

    The reason for that, Scott, is because a hardline on crime has not been consistent across the spectrum. There has been no ” Broken Window Policy”. We lack police. The law is not
    used to its maximum effect. There is no ‘flogging.’There’s nothing…except longer prison sentences.

    This fool has been swayed by listening to too many liberal media commentators. He has then put two and two together and come up with five.

    On behalf of scumbags I thank this guy for his change of heart. We are always looking for people to advocate for us..while we continue to commit crime…because we have no fear of the law.

    • PartisanZ

       /  June 22, 2018

      I agree, we should instigate a form of English Sharia Law …

      • Corky

         /  June 22, 2018

        What are you on about?

        • Gezza

           /  June 22, 2018

          Good old-time English navy law then, Corks? Cat-o-nine tails?

          • Corky

             /  June 22, 2018

            As I have stated before. There are numerous minor crimes that could be dealt with quickly and efficiently No wasted court time except to plead. And maybe no conviction for a first time offence.

            Take Tommy, an indulged little middle class prick. He sped through the CBD at 80kph on a Friday night. Come Saturday morning he pleads guilty to this crime and is lead to a waiting room. When his turn comes, he receives 6 cuts of the rattan. He is then lead semi conscious to a recovery room for a medical check.
            He spends the next week living on pain killers and will probably NEVER OFFEND AGAIN. Much taxpayer money saved. Punished served.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  June 22, 2018

              So refreshing to have you promoting violence here again, [deleted – PG]

            • Corky

               /  June 22, 2018

              Anything of note to say? Let’s hear your solutions for minor crimes [deleted – PG]

            • Corky

               /  June 22, 2018

              Noticed the comment above , Pete?

            • Whatever it is it doesn’t excuse you, and you should know that.

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 22, 2018

              And promoting a form of Anglicized Sharia Law …

              How about a hand off for theft Corky?

              Re-introduce stoning … Stoning for ‘stoners’ maybe?

              I rest my case …

            • Corky

               /  June 22, 2018

              You are being ridiculous, Parti. Again I ask you what are you on about?

              ”I rest my case …”

              You haven’t made a case to rest. You are like Andy who wouldn’t front up with Garth McVicar on ZB this afternoon.

              Missing in action.

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 22, 2018

              You appear to be promoting this sort of thing Corky …

              https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10610-008-9095-2

              E.g. – “Whipping is the Hadd punishment for adultery, sapphism, procuring, sexual defamation and drinking alcohol. Maximum amount of Hadd lashes is 100, some offences receive 80 lashes and the minimum amount is 75 lashes.

              Rebellion and corruption on earth and burglary are punished by amputation. The perpetrator of rebellion is to be punished either by cross maiming of his/her hand and foot, crucifixion for three days, banishment or death.”

              Kinda like Pseudo-Christian-Secular Sharia, isn’t it?

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 22, 2018

              Andy’s very sensible and wise … Why give Alt-Right Fruit Loops oxygen?

              It’s the same argument Gezza pulls on me about KFL, Hobson’s Pledge, Treatygate and OneNZFoundation …

              But I have “Know Thine Enemy” on my side …

          • Corky

             /  June 22, 2018

            Caning was also part of our school system until liberal fools removed it. Naturally assaults on teachers and bullying skyrocketed.

            Again, the examples you give are nonsense. I’m just talking about simple caning as an effective way of dealing with minor crimes.

            Lets face it… you have nothing to argue except to make me out as some fundamentalist nutter.

            Really, it should be you and your ilk on trial. The amount of misery and crime your philosophy has visited on the Innocent is in my opinion criminal.

            • phantom snowflake

               /  June 22, 2018

              Yep, Parti should be charged with ‘Thought Crimes’. I feel a ‘Godwin’ coming on…

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 22, 2018

              Oh FFS, and how effective was caning?

              At the secondary school I went to boys used to *compete* to get caned as often as they could. It was called “notches on the belt” … It promoted classroom disruption …

              A few teachers got psychologically broken along the way as well …

              But school was soooooo much better in the good old days, eh Corky?

              My ilk? I’m not a Totalitarian Command Capitalist Corky, like Stalin, Hitler and Mao were …

              And I don’t have to do anything to make you look like that …

            • Caning was a farce, except that it promoted violence as a way of resolving behavioural problems which is a stupid approach.

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 22, 2018

              Phantom Snowflake … a Godwin …. Allow me …

            • Corky

               /  June 22, 2018

              Trade Nazi for Sharia and Parti has ticked that box.

            • Corky

               /  June 22, 2018

              ”Caning was a farce, except that it promoted violence as a way of resolving behavioural problems which is a stupid approach.”

              How many of your teachers were assaulted when you were at school, Pete? How many kids got kicked on the ground like a sack of wet spuds?

            • Violence has never been a good way of dealing with violence, it teaches it.

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 22, 2018

              No trading required Corks … I willingly ticked it …

            • Corky

               /  June 23, 2018

              @Parti

              ”At the secondary school I went to boys used to *compete* to get caned as often as they could. It was called “notches on the belt” … It promoted classroom disruption …”

              Well, same at my school….that is if you had a teacher who couldn’t cane.
              However, in classes where a teacher could cane you could hear a mouse fart a mile down the road.

              ”A few teachers got psychologically broken along the way as well …”

              Quite true. You had sadist, soft liberals and teachers who took their frustrations out pupils by caning. That is a weakness of CP, but it’s easily remedied.

              ”My ilk? I’m not a Totalitarian Command Capitalist Corky, like Stalin, Hitler and Mao were …”

              No, you are worse. You have no moral compass, empathy or a plan. That’s the hallmarks of liberalism. Window dressing and mannequins, with an empty shop behind. So called nuts like me actually care what happens to innocent people. We put them first. When don’t try to rehabilitate offenders first. Of course rehabilitation is a must, I admit that. But it comes after victim welfare and punishment.

              ”And I don’t have to do anything to make you look like that …”

              That’s correct. All you have to do is uptick Pete while the next pupil, shopkeeper or old person gets bashed.

  2. PDB

     /  June 22, 2018

    Sensible sentencing is not just about ‘longer sentences’ it’s also about appropriate sentences for the crimes committed. We are still seeing in New Zealand people doing terrible crimes and getting relatively light sentences from more liberal judges.

    • Gezza

       /  June 22, 2018

      The bottom-pincher case is interesting because although the judge was required to apply the mandatory sentence of seven years without parole he also applied the manifestly excessive criterion to the sentence – and as a result ruled that the perp WAS eligible for parole, so if he kept his nose clean after that I think he was going to end up being eligible for parole after 1/3red of his sentence which was about 2 years and 3 months. This chap was no shrinking violet, and the officer was badly affected by the whole sequence of events which wasn’t just a bum pinch. She just didn’t think he should NOT be eligible for parole.

      • Gezza

         /  June 22, 2018

        Downticker care to indicate why the downtick?

  3. artcroft

     /  June 22, 2018

    It’s the death of Christie Marceau that points to the need to reform the justice system. Akshay Anand Chand kidnapped her and was then bailed to an address 300 meters away. Basically Mrs Chand who was unable to keep Ashkay from kidnapping Christie was no responsible for stopping further attacks. Christie was killed 1 month later. How those involved in this can sleep at night, I have no idea.

  4. artcroft

     /  June 22, 2018

    ‘now responsible’ – not – no responsible

  5. Gezza

     /  June 22, 2018

    ‘Disgusted and ashamed’: Brian Tamaki hits out at Government over prison policy

    Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki has hit out at the Government and Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis over their prison policy. He said they had ignored the church’s “Man Up” programme that he said was “one of the most successful” at rehabilitating former prisoners and stopping crime in the first place.

    Tamaki said Destiny Church’s Man Up programme, which focuses on tackling family violence, depression, obesity, addiction and suicide would cost taxpayers nothing, despite “having the most success of any rehabilitation programme”.


    More…
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12075714

  6. Sentencing should compose of 4 parts, Reparation, punishment, prevention and rehabilitation, many offenders need rehabilitation far more than punishment, and many low level financial criminals pay no reparation after swindling 10s to 100s of thousands, a 6 month stint is good value for money if you swindled 100k………

    Such a system would provide clarification around sentencing and what was the intent of the judge, violent people get longer prison sentences, and the worst of the worst get preventative sentences, and if everyone else gets a shot at rehab and repaying their dues.

    We dont need a 3 strikes law when a judge can and has given out a life sentence of 37 years non parole………….

    • Gezza

       /  June 22, 2018

      The problem arises when another judge gives a sentence of 15 years non-parole, and that becomes a precedent for another judge to give 10 years non-parole, and the becomes a precedent for another Graeme Burton getting out and murdering someone else.

    • Corky

       /  June 22, 2018

      It’s never mentioned that Garth McVicar supports rehabilitation, but he believes that must be concurrent with, or before, punishment.

  7. Zedd

     /  June 22, 2018

    As with the ‘War on Drugs’ we need to recognise the MISTAKES of the past, look for alternatives & move FORWARD.

    There is a saying ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t try to fix it..’

    BUT both these issues are & I applaud Mr(s) Little, Davis & the new Govt. for at least looking at it.. not ignoring the problem hoping it will just go away (as per last 9 loooong years)

    NZ has amongst the highest incarceration rates in OECD.. even though recent reports show; Crime is supposedly falling. We are only now looking beyond Zero-tolerance to Cannabis/other drugs ‘offences’ towards; Education & Rehab. rather than, arrest & prosecute them all !!

    “WAKE UP”.. the current system is broken & needs reform, NOT ‘Lets just get even tougher’
    Other countries have taken other options & their prison populations are falling.. meanwhile ours are ‘bursting at the seams’

    btw; Tamaki’s comments are…. just plain B-S

    • Gezza

       /  June 22, 2018

      Yes I’m dubious too. But it’s a fairly typical piece of reportage from a journo these days. Repeaters. They just report what he says. Nobody digs into it a bit and gives us some facts on whether what he says stacks up over the long term.

  8. Griff

     /  June 22, 2018

    Conseratlive feels
    Who cares if it causes problems and goes against evidence
    It feels good and saves thinking hard about complex issues.

  9. phantom snowflake

     /  June 22, 2018

    SST have been a very successful organization; they have achieved more than any other group in terms of making “Law and Order” a political football. Any truly “sensible sentencing” where imprisonment was involved would focus on making the prisoner less of a danger to society upon their release. Y’know, the really obvious stuff like teaching literacy, therapy for childhood sexual abuse and other trauma, drug and alcohol treatment, work rehabilitation, single bunking, an end to solitary confinement, connecting prisoners with their own Iwi or community, etc etc it’s not rocket science…

  10. phantom snowflake

     /  June 22, 2018

    Or maybe we should just continue with a ‘justice’ system based on the vengeance and retribution fetishes of the talkback radio set. Sure that’s gonna result in well-adjusted and safe people being released back into the community…

    • Gezza

       /  June 22, 2018

      I’m not big into prison for punishment and retribution. Deprivation of liberty is a horrible thing. Incarceration for the protection of the public who’s a perennial reoffender every time they’re released, or as last resort for someone who persistently or grievously breaches bail or non-custodial sentencing requirements – in which case deprivation of liberty is pretty much the only other penalty worth applying until they get the message they have a better choice.

      Restitution and rehabilitation I’m all for. Preventive detention I’m all for. Until we have the systems in place for teaching literacy, therapy for childhood sexual abuse and other trauma, drug and alcohol treatment, work rehabilitation, single bunking, an end to solitary confinement, connecting prisoners with their own iwi or community then I can’t see that going back to easy release with continual reoffending until finally the crime is so serious or the rap so long the judge simply can’t grant bail without an outcry.

      Yes the system is crying out for an overhaul. So fund these things before you go back to what caused this problem.

      • Gezza

         /  June 22, 2018

        *Incarceration for the protection of the public for someone who’s a perennial reoffender

      • Griff

         /  June 22, 2018

        You can add to that care for those with underlying mental issue’s
        We once had residential care
        I think we chucked the baby out with the bath water when we placed them in the community with out providing the 24/7 support some need to remain functional.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  June 22, 2018

          David Seymour was given a raspberry and called a nimby for not liking the idea of a five storey building in Epsom which would house these people,

          The community care thing is an arrant failure everywhere it’s been tried, not just here.

          People who had been in Tokanui said that it was a good place to be, with its large and peaceful grounds to walk in, away from everything.

          Why not tart it up and reopen it ?

        • Gezza

           /  June 22, 2018

          I think we chucked the baby out with the bath water when we placed them in the community with out providing the 24/7 support some need to remain functional.

          Yes, I reckon we did too, Griff. In fact I think there would be few who disagree.

        • phantom snowflake

           /  June 22, 2018

          Deinstitutionalization in mental health could have been a great success. However it was sabotaged right from the start by bean counters wanting to make huge cost savings. One example with which I am familiar: Auckland’s Carrington Hospital was closed in 1992, yet it wasn’t until 1995 that ‘Community Support Teams’ were formed to support mental health clients with high and complex needs; many of them former Carrington patients. Underfunding of community mental health is clearly false economy.

          • PartisanZ

             /  June 22, 2018

            Nail … head … BANG!!!

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 22, 2018

              The baby … Social Security … (OMG, what a terrible thing that would be) … got chucked out with the slightly murky bathwater of *some* intransigent economic policy pretty much across the board … beginning 34 years ago … (and by deception) …

              Our most vulnerable people are the collateral damage … which, in the case of some criminal and criminally insane people, damages us all …

              That the *new paradigm* answer to this self-inflicted social harm is ‘Sensible Sentencing’ – harsher, longer sentences, three-strikes et al – is a glaring, shameful indictment on the *new paradigm* …

            • phantom snowflake

               /  June 22, 2018

              “Paradigm Lost”??

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 22, 2018

              Very good! A “Lobster-Brain” moment … Better in fact!

              That would make an excellent book or article title … a critique of *New-Right* social manipulation disguised as ‘economic reform’ …

  11. PartisanZ

     /  June 22, 2018

    Let’s get evidence-informed, shall we?

    In 1994 when our population was 3.6 million our crime rate was 1,236 per 10,000 population. Twenty years and three successive governments later in 2014 the population had grown to 4.5 million but the crime rate decreased to 777 per 10,000 population.

    This 37% rate reduction represents a decrease in the number of reported crimes by nearly 100,000, despite a nearly one-third increase in population. Why do we need more prisons?

    Yet New Zealand’s incarceration rate has increased dramatically. In 1984, 4.7 percent of offenders sentenced and convicted were given imprisonment; this rose to 7.1 percent in 1994 and 9.7 percent in 2002, when the current sentencing legislation (the Sentencing Act 2002) was enacted. From 2002, prison sentence rates rose to a high of 11.5 percent in 2005 then fell to 8.5 percent in 2008, before increasing again to 13.3 percent in 2015. (Wikipedia)

    “Professor John Pratt of Victoria University in Wellington says that while crime is driven primarily by socio-economic factors, the growing rate of imprisonment is driven by ‘penal populism’ – a process whereby the major political parties compete with each other to be “tough on crime” by proposing laws which create longer sentences and increase the use of remand. The news media contribute to penal populism by sensationalizing violent crime.”

    (Source: Wikipedia)

    • Gezza

       /  June 22, 2018

      I haven’t had time yet to crawl through the stats with a fine toothed comb without any particular bias in mind & I’m getting confused by the various stats that get thrown around by politicians, hard-liners and reformers – each time seemingly cherry picked & suited to their own arguments. I thought violent crime was on the increase, for example, but I might be wrong. Not sure what’s happening with burglaries any more. Still waiting for Andrew LIttle to identify the range of offences he says are low level and I haven’t seen any stats for the cases which he says result in non-custodial sentences where the judge decides that time spent on remand means one is not required as it amount to the time already served.

      But if the overall crime rate keeps going down as we keep locking more people up – doesn’t that indicate that locking people up at least contributes to the overall crime rate going down?

      And that to fix the problem of reoffending requires, first the whole range of better services for better alternatives should be properly funded and put in place? Turning the prison population loose early without them will just cause a rebound effect with the next change of government. Because the circumstances that caused these changes will just reoccur.

      • PartisanZ

         /  June 22, 2018

        Locking more people up could equally contribute to more re-offending by people who increasingly need to be locked up …

        So much more evidence is required.

        Who’s talking about “turning the prison population loose”? The media? National?

        “Kelvin Davis simultaneously announced extensions to five other prisons, providing 976 additional prison beds”

        • Gezza

           /  June 22, 2018

          Andrew Little.

          • PartisanZ

             /  June 22, 2018

            Evidence please?

            • Gezza

               /  June 22, 2018

              I’d have to crawl through the videos or transcripts of his answers to PQs since he announced he was dumping the 3 strikes law. And I was talking about turning the population loose early without the range of better services for better alternatives properly funded and put in place.

              I hope you’re not going to get all pedantic with me, PZ. o_O
              I’m not in the mood. >:D

              That’s my job ! Being pedantic. After you after my bloody job ! 😡

            • Gezza

               /  June 22, 2018

              Bugger.
              * Are you after my bloody job !

  12. Gezza

     /  June 22, 2018

    We all want to reduce the prison population but at what cost
    MARTIN VAN BEYNEN
    June 22 2018

    OPINION: The impressive justice minister Andrew Little wants to reform the corrections and justice system. One of his goals is to reduce the prison population and especially reduce the number of Māori men behind bars. He wants to change bail laws and get rid of the three strikes law.

    Most reasonable people would agree with Little that the present system is an abject failure at rehabilitating offenders. Recidivism rates are very high, especially among young Māori, although it would be wrong to think Corrections doesn’t try, at times very hard.

    Using prison as punishment does not in general produce a chastened offender or a productive member of society or even a person deterred from offending again.

    ​But jail does achieve the goal of punishment, for most inmates anyway, and it also does a good job of shutting off offenders from the rest of the community. In these ways prison actually works very well. Essentially prison is a holding pen for screw-ups who have to be treated like dangerous and unruly children because they can’t follow rules. That in itself should make inmates so ashamed and humiliated they don’t offend again but clearly it doesn’t do the trick.

    The debate about whether the Government should be building bigger prisons such as Waikato’s Waikeria jail has mainly been around prisons being breeding grounds for more hardened criminals. Enlightened reformers and the public will probably agree about prison’s failure at rehabilitation but they part company in one crucial area.

    Reformers seem to be prepared to accept the collateral damage that a more lenient, less incarceration focused approach to offending will cause, in the hope that the approach causes less collateral damage down the track.

    Incarceration at least keeps offenders away from the community. Ordinary people are less accepting of the risks and usually just need one offender to commit a brutal crime while on bail or parole to be even more adamant in their views. This is why a party like NZ First will always back the less enlightened but more risky approach.

    Take the case of 32-year-old Taga David Keepa Adams, father of two children, who came up for sentencing in the Auckland High Court last week. Of Ngāti Maniapoto, Adams was adopted and his childhood was all about violence, alcohol and drug abuse.

    His first taste of incarceration was as a 14-year-old and he went on to collect a record containing many violent offences, including a stabbing. In 2011 he was sentenced to just over seven years jail for a home invasion in which he assaulted two women.

    In February last year, when he was on parole for the home invasion, he saw a woman out walking, drove ahead and then lay in wait to ambush her. He grabbed her in a head lock and choked her so she was unable to scream.

    Dragging her to the car, he shoved her head-first into the passenger foot-well, and in response to her screams, pushed his fingers into her eyes causing her so much pain, she stopped screaming. He drove away using his free hand to indecently assault her. “Please don’t kill me,” she said. Later Adams told police he intended to rape his victim. He didn’t get the chance. The woman opened the passenger door and rolled herself out of the moving car, incurring serious injuries.

    In her victim impact report she told the court she continued to feel small, fearful and “insignificant in her own life”. She said she was “tired” of feeling that way. The court jailed Adams for six years and five months, of which he must serve 60 per cent before he is eligible for parole. He was given his first strike warning.

    It will be said that if Adams had been handled in a different way from the time he began offending, things might have ended differently. And maybe the mistakes of the past can eventually be corrected with a completely different approach to offenders and much earlier intervention.

    But until Little or his successors can turn the ship around with prison reforms and social changes, New Zealand will need more prison beds.

    Every time some one like Adams commits one of these random, cruel crimes, he makes the argument for prison and justice reform more urgent and yet more difficult. There are many worse crimes than Adams’ latest effort. I hope he gets treated humanely in prison and he gets the help he needs.

    But I care far more about his victim and other potential victims like her. I can’t help thinking of my daughter as I look at these crimes.

    So I’m just glad Adams is locked up where he can’t do any harm for awhile. I believe he should have got longer. And if that costs, so be it. If it means more prison beds, that is the price I’m prepared to pay. A Government’s first priority must be to keep people safe.

    – Stuff

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 22, 2018

      Problem is there is no restitution by most of these offenders. Without that, why do they get parole? Seems to me parole should be earned and restitution is the way to do it.

    • PartisanZ

       /  June 22, 2018

      Labour-led recognise the short-to-medium term need for more prison beds …

      Kelvin Davis announced the construction of a new 500 bed Waikeria Corrections Facility plus a purpose-built 100 bed Mental Health unit; a wise move given that “a vast majority” of prison inmates have mental health issues. Davis simultaneously announced extensions to five other prisons, providing 976 additional prison beds (Source = NZHerald)

      Gezza you’ve cited a perfect example of “The news media [maybe] contributing to penal populism by sensationalizing violent crime.”

      TDK Adams needed psychiatric treatment and possibly long-term psychiatric confinement from as early as 14 years old. He may have also benefited, way back then or before, with connection to his hapu iwi and/or marae justice.

      We could equally focus on the plight of one prisoner-victim wrongly convicted, say Teina Pora for instance?

      2000 years on and we’re still basically using variegated Old Testament “eye-for-an-eye” and retribution …

      The only good thing about this is it leaves us a long, long way to go …

      • Gezza

         /  June 22, 2018

        TDK Adams needed psychiatric treatment and possibly long-term psychiatric confinement from as early as 14 years old. He may have also benefited, way back then or before, with connection to his hapu iwi and/or marae justice.

        He may have. Or it might be completely alien to him and he might not want that.

        • PartisanZ

           /  June 22, 2018

          If a person has stabbed someone aged 14 or 15, what they want doesn’t really come into it …

          The most positive childhood experience in ‘Once Were Warriors’ was the young fella who went to a kind of reform school and got introduced to tikanga.

          Anyhow … Van Beynen’s article above is essentially a story … Sure, a terrible story … but only one among thousands … not really evidential unless there’s a way of comparing the facets or constituents of thousands of such experiences … victim and perpetrator …

          • Gezza

             /  June 22, 2018

            If a person has stabbed someone aged 14 or 15, what they want doesn’t really come into it …

            It depends who it is that gets to make that decision. In the meantime Van Beynen’s article stacks up. Until this particular guy can be fixed, if he can be fixed, he’s a risk to innocent people.

            But we need to look to the future and that’s where they have to start spending money and cranking up these other services.

            Somewhere along the way kids need to get taken right away from the bloody gangs and kept away from them, and that is hard.

            • PartisanZ

               /  June 23, 2018

              I think you’ve described exactly what Labour-led are proposing to do: more prison beds initially, rationalize sentencing, improve rehabilitation …

              Pedantic note: Me saying the Van Beynen’s article is an example of “the news media contributing to penal populism by sensationalizing violent crime” is absolutely NOT THE SAME as saying that TDK Adams should not go to prison or should be let out …