Prisoners’ first names to be used and to be called ‘men in our care’

This from Stuff has prompted some strong reactions: Corrections to call prisoners ‘men in our care’ and refer to them by their first names, sources say

Corrections has begun calling prisoners “men in our care” in a move slammed by staff, according to well-placed sources.

Some officers are also being asked to address prisoners by their first names instead of their surnames, as was previously standard practice.

The raft of new terms also includes the te reo word paihere in lieu of prisoners, which in its noun form translates to “bundle”.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis said the idea was to humanise people in prison and “uphold their mana”.

Davis said Corrections recently launched Hōkai Rangi, a strategy aimed at addressing Māori reoffending and imprisonment.

“The strategy is about ensuring we are doing everything we can to help people turn their lives around while they’re inside, and reduce reoffending when a prisoner is released, so we have fewer victims of crime and safer communities.”

One of the “key outcomes” of the strategy was to humanise and heal inmates, Davis said.

“An important part of that involves staff treating people with respect and dignity.

“For example, at some prisons staff now refer to prisoners by their first names. It’s such a simple but important change – and a great way to engage someone in prison and uphold their mana.”

We have a serious problem with high Māori  imprisonment. A different approach may make a difference.

But:

A source close to a major South Island prison said none of his Corrections colleagues were taking the change seriously.

“It’s nuts.”

“They obviously think it’s a bit of a joke.”

Another source, currently a senior Corrections officer, told Stuff he had previously been told to refer to prisoners as  “clients” rather than “offenders”.

“That was bad enough,” he said.

But he was stunned when a new direction came from top brass ordering staff to refer to prisoners as “paihere”.

Corrections Association of New Zealand president Alan Whitley was no fan of the new language brought in by management.

“They’re not in our care, they’re in our custody, our legal custody.”

David Farrar mocked it in Government can now claim we have zero prisoners and predictably it was slammed in comments as “politically correct bollocks”.

My initial reaction was eyebrows raised, but when I thought about it I wondered whether the views of bloggers and commenters mattered in this.

The key issue is whether it will reduce the chances of reoffending or not. I don’t know if these changes  are based on any evidence of a similar approach elsewhere or not, but given that our imprisonment and recidivism rates are appalling, a less dehumanising approach to most incarcerated men and women may be worth trying.

If you read past the initial reactions there is more explanation.

Topia Rameka is the recently appointed Deputy Chief Executive – Maori for the Department of Corrections.

He said the term paihere was mainly used to refer to prisoners at Tongariro Prison in the central North Island.

It was developed in 2016 in consultation with local iwi, Ngati Tuwharetoa, specifically for use at Tongariro, he said.

Pai refers to the “wellness action” while here is the gathering, learning and collection of knowledge, according to Corrections.

“The term was introduced to Tongariro Prison and staff were invited to use it if they wished to do so. While it was developed specifically for Tongariro Prison, staff at other sites have also chosen to adopt its use. If staff don’t wish to use the term, they don’t have to.

“Many staff at Tongariro Prison have also made the decision to call prisoners by their first names, with other sites following their lead.”

Rameka said the shift away from terms like “prisoner” and “offender” was in line with the Hōkai Rangi strategy for 2019-2024.

Part of the strategy was helping to build closer relationships with Māori, he said.

“While the strategy builds on many of the good things that we are doing to help rehabilitate and reintegrate people to reduce re-offending, it also outlines the need for us to provide a humanising and respectful environment that provides people with the skills and resilience needed to safely and successfully transition back into the community on release.”

PC snowflakes will get over it, or find other things to moan about.

It is important for our society that more are treated, rehabilitated and on release (and most are released) become law abiding citizens.

 

 

Leave a comment

115 Comments

  1. NOEL

     /  23rd November 2019

    Yah commit an offence against societies rules, are incarcerated and society has to change practices so as not to diminish your mana. Strange!

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  23rd November 2019

      Calling people by their surname is an officious practice not a social one.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  23rd November 2019

        That depends upon the relationship, of course; between equals, surnames are all right; both parties use them. It was standard practice at UK public schools and may still be.

        But I can’t see why calling a prisoner John instead of Smith is a bad idea. It hadn’t ocurred to me that this wouldn’t happen anyway.

        Reply
  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  23rd November 2019

    I support using their first names and treating them properly. Many will never have had a good relationship in their lives. I recall a UK journalist from a bad background writing that one adult who believed in him turned his life around. If it can be done it should be done.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  23rd November 2019

      I can’t see that using first names will do any harm. Nor will treating them decently.

      Corky’s solution of treating them like shit is descending to their level and is unlikely to be a useful tool for rehabilitation.

      Reply
      • I agree with you both. Degrading prisoners by treating them like shit – responding to criminal violence with punitive actions which dehumanize and depersonalize – does absolutely nothing for their prospects of rehabilitation. And whether we like it or not most prisoners are released back into society.

        There’s a balance between retribution and rehabilitation, and a society that focuses too much on retribution simply normalizes violence and ends up imprisoning itself. Look at Bruce Arrigo’s society-of-captives thesis.

        Reply
  3. Corky

     /  23rd November 2019

    Bullshit. We are being asked to respect people who have no respect for society? Ferals who inhabit prison perceive kindness and being treated with consideration as weakness.
    They will exploit any weakness to the max.

    My solution is very simple. A prisoner is treated like shit for the first part of his sentence. He then has a chance to enter rehabilitation and earn respect. You would be surprised the number of prisoners who would rather be dead than conform to society.

    This is the type of crap that will cost lives and money. And for what?

    This bs could only have been thought up by a bunch of middleclass wasters who have never felt a tender hamfist punch in their face, or the hobbies to their ribcage. They also need to read their psychology books. Humans only backup when they feel fear.

    ”PC snowflakes will get over it, or find other things to moan about.”
    ?

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  23rd November 2019

      Actually kindness can reduce very large grown men to tears, Corky. Obviously it has to be mixed with consistency and good honest thinking and principles.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  23rd November 2019

        Very true. But only when a man has reached rock bottom and his conscience has caught up with him. I have seen it myself. A switch is flicked and the man becomes an ex feral.

        This course of action though is asking us to believe all prisoners are at that stage in their life, and are amenable to being treated well, with the expectation they will respond in a positive fashion. That won’t happen. A prisoner must want to change. That’s an internal process.

        Reply
        • They are unlikely to want to change if they are treated as inferior but authorities.

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  23rd November 2019

          I agree they must want to change but that might need them to be shown there is an alternative by first building a relationship. Little things like humour and perception and kindness do that.

          Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd November 2019

      They also need to read their psychology books. Humans only backup when they feel fear.

      Link to a professional psychology source or publication that supports your contention that treating prisoners like shit at first, then giving them a chance to enter rehabilitation actually works to change them for the better & reduce reoffending please.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  23rd November 2019

        ”Link to a professional psychology source or publication that supports your contention that treating prisoners like shit at first…. etc”

        There is no source that supports that contention that I’m aware of.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  23rd November 2019

          Well then why should they read their psychology books, as you said?

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  23rd November 2019

            They should study up so fear can be manipulated in prison..but not to the extent that it damages prisoners mental health, so they’re unable to undertake the rehab part of their prison sentence. Hence my comment that in my prison, all inmates will know beforehand there is a way out of the pain they are about to suffer.

            https://www.psychologytoday.com/nz/blog/smashing-the-brainblocks/201511/7-things-you-need-know-about-fear

            Here’s a video clip of a fight. Listen to what an unseen commentator says to the feral at the end of the clip. There is no gloating or goading. Just a simple statement that this lad has a choice to accept or not. Notice how this lads attitude has be readjusted by pain and reality? That’s how my prison would operate. No wanton violence..but a violent reaction to breaking prison rules.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  23rd November 2019

              If they are about to suffer it, how can there be a way out of it ?

              Your idea of a prison sounds like a gulag.

            • Gezza

               /  23rd November 2019

              An acquaintance of mine, a former bass player in one of the bands I played in, a Pakeha, absolutely loathed “Hey boy”s. His name for staunch Maoris who glowered at pakeha for any reason. He’d walk up to them & get right in their face, daring them to do something about it. He’d get really nasty – his attitude was give it back to them in spades, they’ll back down.

              We lost touch after that band dissolved when our main guitarist/singer migrated to Oz, but reconnected for a while after my wife died & he came to the funeral.

              In the interim he’d joined the prison service. Did 3 years at Rimutaka. Had to leave in the end after he got badly beaten up in a prisoner’s cell. No one came to his assistance. He says the other officer there just stood back & let it happen.

              They probably told him “You shouldn’t be racist, bro”.

            • Corky

               /  23rd November 2019

              ”No one came to his assistance. He says the other officer there just stood back & let it happen.”

              In my prison, if your mate was in the right, and received no help, those officers not helping would be fired.

              If your mate was in the wrong, he would be fired, but the other officers would still receive a censure and a warning.

            • Gezza

               /  23rd November 2019

              In your prison you’d never be able to establish exactly what happened with all the conflicting stories you got & so you’d end up having to punish everybody by giving them all six of the best & keeping the whole wing including the staff in after dinner break.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd November 2019

        Of course fear can as easily provoke fight as flight. Neither resolve the actual problem. That requires thinking and talking. But first you have to deal with the emotion. I’ve used a hug to defuse the situation. The recipient was so astonished he was speechless for a while. Obviously no-one had ever done that to him. I tell people that anger is good if you use it to make things better.

        Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  23rd November 2019

      I find it odd that Corky sees treating someone decently as weakness.

      Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  23rd November 2019

    My initial reaction was eyebrows raised, but when I thought about it…

    That was my first reaction too, when I started reading the article, but as I carried on I began to think more deeply about it.

    This dehumanising way of treating people, including calling them by their last name, is the way army drill sergeants break down your individuality & train you to try to harden you up, make you act on orders immediately without challenging them or thinking too deeply, and develop a group or unit identity & ethos.

    The dumber & less sophisticated/educated you are, the better it works – as you often see with pommy squaddies & US jarheads (marines).

    When you’ve got prisons full of, & seemingly effectively now often run by, gangs, that’s actually the reverse of how you want a prisoner to be.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  23rd November 2019

      If the surname use is between equals, that is quite different to it being used as a putdown.

      Reply
  5. Trevors_Elbow

     /  23rd November 2019

    First name? Ok… I’ll take that as a way to reduce tension …

    However the real issue we have with prisons is not being severe enough on certain inmates – [‘men in care’ seriously]

    Separate the gang members/associates from everyone else. They are a cancer – they are not another type of whanau/family/aiga. They are scum and organised criminal associations, and we should treat them harshly when they break our laws…. isolate them so their infection cant spread.

    Its well know that the king pins inside are gang leaders and they run protection rackets to give inmates unattached to a gang some semblance of protection inside form the violent place it is…and that protection racket reaches into the real world and so people are sucked into orbits they shouldn’t be in… and the gang grows its reach

    Sure take a first time regardless of background and put them in a positive space, away from gangs and go hard at rehab – including a controlled release to the real world when the sentence is done and a job (make work 8 to 6 cutting scrub if it has to be) to make sure they are back on their feet…. it will be cheaper than locking the marginal cases up.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd November 2019

      I think you’ve hit a nail on the head here, and that’s what’s making some corrections officers & their association head so angry.

      They may have gone overboard with the “men in our care term” – it would certainly appear that way to corrections officers who have to watch their backs at all times when dealing with hardened criminal populations already controlling understaffed prisons.

      They probably do need strategies beyond this to break up the existing system of order among individuals who’ve grown up in environments of violence & fear & to whom our prisons simply reinforce that way of living.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  23rd November 2019

        Yes. An ex-prisoner still suffers nightmares about the prison gangsters he experienced. That isn’t correction it is abuse.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  23rd November 2019

          What’s wrong with ‘inmates’ ? That’s neutral.
          Men in our care is clumsy and contrived.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  23rd November 2019

            I don’t have a problem with calling them prisoners when that’s what they are. But they should be treated first as humans just as hospital patients should be. Most have mental health issues too.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  23rd November 2019

              That’s why I liked inmates; an inmate could be a prison inmate, a hospital inmate…the word ‘prisoner’ makes it sound as if that’s all they are.

              One ex-con wittily referred to himself as a former ‘tenant of the Crown’.

            • The issue I see with calling someone an inmate is that it pathologizes them – whether prison or hospital, the word has negative and pejorative connotations.

              Same issue with “men in care” – as if the men are unable to care for themselves (or others).

              When we use specific words to describe people, we pigeon-hole them under that classification. The issue with that is that when we classify people as a particular ‘type’, we make it difficult for them to become different ‘types.’

  6. duperez

     /  23rd November 2019

    Treat people like shit, they’re going to treat you like shit. and if you’re big and strong and have power and they’re scared of treating you like shit, they’ll take it out on someone else.

    Beat a dog, it will bite you. We want people to leave prisons and come out as reformed and be productive members of society? How does the way they’re treated impact on that?

    The issues are obviously multi-layered and complex. As usual everyone, the masses will see which parts of the problems they want or are able to see and focus on those. Someone has to look at the big picture, how all the bits fit in.

    Wherever the first names bit fits in, by itself it won’t address the fact that many, most, who’ve got to the lockup stage need to be re-programmed. Undoing the conditioning they have had over a lifetime (for most) is the problem.

    Reply
    • Corky

       /  23rd November 2019

      I have looked at the big picture in my comment to Pete.

      Quote:

      ” I leave you with this thought. Have you considered what type of society prisoners will be released back into? Yep, a liberal society run like Corrections runs their prisons. And we wonder why our recidivism rate is so high.”

      End quote

      ”Treat people like shit, they’re going to treat you like shit.”

      Finally, someone who inadvertently gets it. It’s really quite simple.

      So where is your solution? Like most on this threat we are getting commentary…but no plan.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  23rd November 2019

        You have been advocating treating prisoners like shit with violence and fear.

        Now you seem to disagree with yourself by agreeing that treating people like shit makes them treat you like it. That is seriously strange.

        Reply
      • duperez

         /  23rd November 2019

        I’ve got the start of a plan: Call prisoners by their names.

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  24th November 2019

          Yeah..whatever. I’m sure they will thank you for that. Of course, if a prison boss decides you are to be ‘shanked,’ you will be shanked. You can always plead that you used his first name and to please show some mercy. The response will be:”what are you on about,clown.” Shank, shank and one more shank for being a ‘smart arse.’

          That’s the reality no one here seems to understand.

          Still, to be fair, you have the start of a plan. That’s a first step. That puts you one up on Kitty who has trouble with coherent thought. Maybe today is the day she breaks free and astounds us with her lucidity.🤔😒😁

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  24th November 2019

            Ducky, one doesn’t get an MA Hons if one isn’t capable of lucidity and coherent thought; I suspect that you have nothing higher than a mediocre School C by way of academic qualifications, hence your constant attempts to put me down with pathetic, childish insults. How many languages can you read ?

            You can’t even agree with yourself on this post, forsooth, let alone put forward any convincing argument. You contradict yourself constantly. One minute you’re advocating treating prisoners like shit, the next you’re agreeing that this will make them do the same to others. You grudge prisoners the vote, then react with fury that National removed their right to vote. One minute they’re a bunch of wastrels (which doesn’t mean what you seem to think it does) and did it as a cheap shot, the next they need to remove the vote from the few who still have it.

            Make your mind up. Try to engage in the logical thought that you imagine that others are incapable of because they don’t think in a simplistic, black and white way.

            Simplistic means over-simplified, it’s not just a fancy word for simple.

            Reply
  7. Blazer

     /  23rd November 2019

    The root cause of crime is usually poverty.
    After the adoption of the neo libs doctrine of greed in the 80’s crime increased as a reflection of increasing inequality.
    When NZ was at it’s most prosperous in the 50’s and 60’s ,there was a lot more trust and respect in communities and less…crime.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd November 2019

      True.

      But now we have 3 generations of what has become a widespread culture of ignorance & violence & drug & alcohol abuse among the have-nots, and so we have a lot of damaged individuals spread among both the prison & the general population, especially in the poorer communities. It may take generations to fix it – and starting at the prisons may be one of the best places to put in the effort.

      The community has to work together for rehabilitation to work. Blaming Pakeha & colonialism (while there’s plenty of evidence the latter has been a fsctor) is not an excuse to do nothing, not town the problem & needs those who can get thru to gang members & associates to work hard with to change attitudes & give prisoners some self-respect, self-reliance, education & skills – & decent paying jobs. They need to be able to see a worthwhile, happy future & have a stake in it.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  23rd November 2019

        Typos. I mucked that up. I’ll rephrase it:

        The community has to work together for rehabilitation to work. Blaming Pakeha & colonialism (while there’s plenty of evidence the latter has been a factor) is not an excuse to do nothing, & to not own the problem, & needs those who can get thru to gang members & associates to work hard with the whole community & the prisoners themselves to change attitudes & give prisoners some self-respect, self-reliance, education & skills – & decent paying jobs. They need to be able to see a worthwhile, happy future & have a stake in it.

        Reply
    • Duker

       /  23rd November 2019

      No Blazer, the increase in crime preceded the neo liberals by about 15-20 yrs ….it was drugs and the crime that goes with it including right up to murder that began in middle 60s. As the various types of drug have increased in popularity so have the variations in crime that goes with it.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  23rd November 2019

        There may be a correlation but other factors come into play.
        Alcohol was freely available in post war NZ.
        Domestic violence,unreported was a significant ‘crime’ then.
        Logic suggests a consumer orientated society where ostentatious wealth is apparent ,and the gap between haves and have nots becomes a chasm ,would have an effect.
        Attributing crime to drugs is simplistic and not the root core.
        Why do people indulge in drugs?Is it escapism,relief from a mundane world of deprivation?

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  23rd November 2019

          Excuses: Tell me about the majority of poor people who don’t commit crime and hurt the innocent.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  23rd November 2019

            conditioned,apathetic and debt slaves ,hamsters in a wheel from which they see …no escape.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  23rd November 2019

              In other words..you have no comeback..only excuses as to why these people aren’t criminals.

            • Gezza

               /  23rd November 2019

              That’s not even an excuse for it. It’s a pathetic apology for an explanation. Come on Blazer. You need to put at least a modicum of thought into answering Corky’s question there. Surely your life hasn’t been so full of crap you can’t even imagine why most people aren’t criminals?

        • Blazer

           /  23rd November 2019

          its Pareto’s Law…20% of the people commit 80% of the crime….as for the inversion,alot don’t get caught.
          What is legal and what is illegal changes from year to year.

          Should George Bush and Tony Blair be incarcerated for war crimes(million dead)…if they were ,would they prefer to be called …George or Tony!

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  23rd November 2019

            ,”A lot don’t get caught.”

            I must have it wrong. The poor who are supposedly less educated than the norm, are suddenly super crooks who don’t get caught, while their white collar brethren get busted by the truckload.

            What you learn everyday

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  23rd November 2019

              How odd, a few days ago you were claiming that increasing numbers of people were turning to a life of crime and quoted two whom you supposedly knew who were about to join the Mongrel Mob to make some money from crime because they were tired of seeing gang members on Harleys.

          • Gezza

             /  23rd November 2019

            They’d probably prefer to be called Mr President & Mr Blair respectively. Both should be doing a stretch for war crimes.

            But that’s a classic Blazer whataboutism squirrel that doesn’t make for much of an intelligent discussion of the topic at hand in the context of PG’s post.

            You earlier made a better fist of it because poverty & the neoliberal changes have something to do with the high incaceration rates of Maori in this country for crime & in particular family violence & violent offending, often repeated violent offending generally.

            Most people in this country are simply not prone to this. Why not?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  23rd November 2019

              I will forgive your impertinence on this occasion.
              Crime and punishment is a huge topic.
              Pyschiatrists,psycologists,philosophers and great minds have wrestled with it for centuries.

              Simple why questions do not do the topic justice.

              Human nature is the esscence of crime and retribution.
              As noted ,what is crime today may become passe.

              It is a fact that society reviles against heinous physical acts inflicted on their fellow man,but it is also fact ,that it blithely accepts mass murder at the behest of empire or political expediency.

              People are conditioned to accept their ‘station’ in life,some accept it,some rebel against it some are victims,many commit…..suicide.

            • Gezza

               /  23rd November 2019

              Couldn’t give two fucks about your thinking I’m impertinent. You’re a name on an internet forum. Must have been little love & honesty & emotional security & insistence on respect for other people & their feelings & property in your life if you can’t see why most other people who’ve had that experience pass it on to their children.

            • Blazer

               /  23rd November 2019

              @Gezza…oh dear …ha ha…so you blame the parents…then…case…closed.

            • Gezza

               /  23rd November 2019

              The case isn’t as closed as your mind seems to be. When you have a community of people whose values are those you get to breed more productive & well-adjusted community members. When you get multiple generations of folk who have & show no love & no hope & blame everbody else for their life circumstances & argue that basically everyone’s ripping you off, one way or another – you get nowhere.

              The government has a major role to play in giving people opportunities & reducing poverty. But individuals & families & communities all have roles to play in improving people’s lives.

              What’s your solution?

            • Blazer

               /  23rd November 2019

              People need a stake in life…an even playing field,equal opportunity.
              Lip service is paid to the concept of a meritocracy.
              Until inequality is addressed there will be no improvement.
              NZ is better than most ,but is a wealthy country…the wealth needs to be spread to the many at the expense of the self entitled,priveleged…few.

              Housing,and jobs with pay rates that reflect the standard of living and politicians that are not bought and paid for are…required.

            • Gezza

               /  23rd November 2019

              @ Blazer

              People need a stake in life…an even playing field,equal opportunity.
              Agreed.

              Lip service is paid to the concept of a meritocracy.
              Agreed in part. There are people who do badly at school & go from the bottom to the top or at least to finacial security, independence & a good lifestyle through sheer drive & determination & making the best of their talents & opportunities. A problem though is that these people then get held up by the wealthy & successful, and they themselves, as the “If they could do it; everybody can” model, & that’s not realistic, nor how many people are “built”.

              Until inequality is addressed there will be no improvement.
              I doubt you can eliminate inequality in a free society, but agree we should be striving always to eliminate poverty & prevent the wealthy from impoverishing others.

              NZ is better than most ,but is a wealthy country…the wealth needs to be spread to the many at the expense of the self entitled,priveleged…few.
              Yes, but you also need to avoid creating a situation where people who work & save & invest end up keeping others who choose not to because they don’t need to.

              Housing,and jobs with pay rates that reflect the standard of living and politicians that are not bought and paid for are…required.
              Yep. That last has become a hard ask. And the politicians also need to include some who are competent enuf to manage an economy so that they don’t end up putting the country into unaffordable debt & austerity > poverty > crime > authoritarian government.

    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  23rd November 2019

      what bollocks…. the root causes of crime are thinking you’re better than others and can do what you want because everyone else are just prey items to be abused and used (various pathological flavours), or you’re born in to it – gang molls have a lot to answer for shacking up with scum, or you’re just lazy and want short cuts to everything and anything.

      my parents didn’t turn to crime blazer – they grew up in real hard times – global depressions and then global war. neither did the vast majority who went through similar experiences….

      its amazing this ‘Poverty’ justification gets trotted out as an excuse all the time – idleness yes, poverty no… if university sociology and criminology departments weren’t full of wet lefties looking to create evidence to back up their marxist based world views then this ‘Poverty’ justification thesis would collapse very quickly…

      Keep pushing you Marxist class dialect answer to everything. Its bullshit – Marxism is a fraud invented to justify people (normally middle class people under the marxist class structure model) seizing power and over turning existing power structures so they can be in charge… the whole people of the world unite stuff is window dressing rhetoric to disguise the totalitarian fundamental core of the communist and extreme socialist – it is all about power and control

      I think you fall into the classic ‘useful idiot’ category of true believer embittered by their failings in life…

      BOL – short for Bollocks… which is most apt for your commentary..

      you’re welcome.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  23rd November 2019

        Unfortunately the statistical evidence that high crime rates in Western societies are associated with poverty is there & undeniable. The times when our parents grew up were different. For a start they were probably married & stayed married so your kids had more emotional security. We had a much more egalitarian society then. People lived simpler lives. Maori had freezing worker & local dairy factory jobs. Smaller communities thrived. There were fewer luxuries now generally seen as necessities these days. And rural Maori still were seen as folk who tended to live separately & differently from the rest of us.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  23rd November 2019

          I am not convinced that life was simpler in the past; the fact that people tended to stay married doesn’t mean that the marriages were good. With no DPB and limited welfare, there were not the options for people like my mother’s friend whose big, handsome, charming policeman husband was a violent beast behind closed doors. She had triplets as well as two other small children; five children three and under.

          The divorce rate soared after the war, with hasty wartime marriages falling apart.

          There were also problems with returning soldiers who had had terrible experiences.

          Life would have been harder without modern appliances and modern medicine. Imagine not having microwaves and automatic washing machines.

          There has never been a time when people were not materialistic. If everyone was content with what they had, nothing would change.

          Reply
      • Blazer

         /  23rd November 2019

        spoken like a true redneck.
        Typical…’I turned out alright’!Your last line sums up materialism at its worst…never enough…constant growth.
        this is the biggest pile of shyte ever..
        ‘the root causes of crime are thinking you’re better than others and can do what you want because everyone else are just prey items to be abused and used (various pathological flavours), or you’re born in to it – gang molls have a lot to answer for shacking up with scum, or you’re just lazy and want short cuts to everything and anything.’

        Sad.

        Reply
    • Pink David

       /  24th November 2019

      “The root cause of crime is usually poverty.”

      This untrue.

      “After the adoption of the neo libs doctrine of greed in the 80’s crime increased as a reflection of increasing inequality.”

      Do you have some actual data to support this?

      “When NZ was at it’s most prosperous in the 50’s and 60’s ,there was a lot more trust and respect in communities and less…crime.”

      It was also largely a monoculture with very strict social conventions, not to mention a much smaller population.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  24th November 2019

        What is the root cause of crime then ?

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  24th November 2019

          A paucity of moral upbringing and character. Not what you wanted to hear, was it, Blazer?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  24th November 2019

            That’s a …laugh Corky.

            Moral virtue doesn’t count when …’greed is good’.

            Reply
        • Pink David

           /  24th November 2019

          What makes you assume you can identify a root cause for ‘crime’?

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  24th November 2019

            For you to make the statement my comment is ‘untrue’ ,go ahead and disprove it.

            Reply
            • Pink David

               /  25th November 2019

              Sure.

              What is a crime? That is a simple question with very complex answers. Something that was a crime last year, might be not a crime today and actually celebrated tomorrow. Something that was not a crime might become a crime tomorrow. Change countries or states and crimes change. Change cultures and crimes change.

              To claim ‘crime’ has one predominate cause is illiterate. It’s something that has been studied extensively as well, can I suggest you read some of that?

            • Gezza

               /  25th November 2019

              There is no single, simple “root cause of crime”. The nature of crime varies (lots of things are crime, from petty theft to fraud to genocide).

              I even saw one site claiming the principal cause of crime is opportunity to commit one.

  8. Corky

     /  23rd November 2019

    I see no one has mentioned the supposed soft rehabilitation that’s touted as working so well in European countries?

    And we are also awaiting a prison reform plan from Kitty. Is she capable of such? I doubt it. That’s why she has to live off others posts. But let’s not be too hasty. 😂👍

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  23rd November 2019

      What a tiresome little troll you are. Catullus must have known one of your ancestors when he wrote ‘Nam risu inepto res,ineptior nulla est.’ (there is nothing sillier than a silly laugh) There still isn’t.

      Unlike you, I don’t claim to have all the answers when it comes to prison reform, but, unlike you, I believe that treating violence with violence is counter-productive and that prison officers should not be trained to be thugs who are as bad as or worse than the prisoners.

      The word ‘soft’ of rehabilitation is yours, of course.

      Is there any evidence of your claim that gangs are kept separate in prisons ? I couldn’t find any. They are, of course, forbidden to wear patches and other insignia and use gang motifs in art and so on.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd November 2019

      I see no one has mentioned the supposed soft rehabilitation that’s touted as working so well in European countries.

      I’m assuming some of these initiatives have come from studying what’s been done overseas (like using first names) & trying to tailor a home-grown solution to the reality that most of our prisoners – or at least a disproportionately high number – are of Maori or mixed Maori ancestry. Which is not an issue for some of those countries.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  23rd November 2019

        Norway’s soft rehab has resulted in their recidivism rate dropping from the 60% which seems to be standard to 30%..

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  24th November 2019

          It appears that education and rehab generally result in the person who’s given it having a much lower chance of reoffending. Yes, it costs a bit, but if it means that the person is even half as likely to not be back at a cost of whatever it is to keep them there, it seems like a good investment.

          The US, where some prisons seem to be the closest to Corky’s fantasy, has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners; hardly a glowing endorsement of the hardline theory.

          I have heard that this is not a deterrent because criminals don’t think that they are going to be caught when they commit the crime.

          Reply
  9. Corky

     /  23rd November 2019

    I guess that’s a no…as expected 😁

    Anyone else?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd November 2019

      Eh? Your reform plan isn’t garnering much if any support – in fact it looks like it would simply produce retailation against authoritarian prison officers & make matters equally bad if not worse – so what’s the point of your crowing about it when the post is about the current government’s reform plan?

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  23rd November 2019

        In my opinion,you can’t criticise something; mock it and criticise those who think it has merit, without offering an alternative. I have just given a brief philosophical outline about the bedrock my system works on. I could flesh it out but didn’t for that reason.

        ”Your reform plan isn’t garnering much if any support.”

        Of course not, I would be surprised if it did. It’s mainly middle class people who are reading my comments They believe sweet reason has some clout with ferals..and that like action will beget like action. IT WON’T!

        ”Retaliation against authoritarian prison officers & make matters equally bad if not worse.”

        That is correct. Obviously in my prison, prison staff numbers will increase, and training will increase 100 fold. All officers will receive tasers and pepper spray. One duty officer for each wing will carry a fire arm at all times. He will not enter the wing unless it’s to use his weapon. All officers will carry body cameras. Unjustified force will result in charges being laid. There will be no negotiations with prisoners trying to harm an officer with a weapon. The duty officer will enter the wing and shot the prisoner dead.

        ”So what’s the point of your crowing about it when the post is about the current government’s reform plan?”

        I wasn’t crowing. I was just showing up a brainless troll ..and encouraging others to offer alternatives to this crap the government has dished up. I mean, I’m astounded people are taking the governments plan seriously.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  23rd November 2019

          In my opinion,you can’t criticise something; mock it and criticise those criticise those who think it has merit, without offering an alternative.

          Yes you can. And there is an alternative; the one that’s the topic of the post. Your alternative is equally as open to question and criticism as you expect the government’s to be.

          Can you cite some studies of where the approach you advocate has worked to reduce recidivism? Saudi Arabia is not to be cited.

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  23rd November 2019

            ”Can you cite some studies of where the approach you advocate has worked to reduce recidivism? Saudi Arabia is not to be cited.”

            No, I can’t. It would be a first in the Western world. And after a couple of years governments would crawl to me, begging for my help.

            I’m an original thinker, although in this case it’s a simple matter of implementing what works and what doesn’t…in my opinion.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  23rd November 2019

              No, I can’t. It would be a first in the Western world.
              With respect, your feelz isn’t a good enuf CBA to spend a helluva lot more of taxpayers’ money on a system that envisages a harsher regime than the one we already have – with no long or possibly even short term evidence that it would work to back it up. Fear of incarceration & loss of liberty isn’t enuf to stop people committing crimes & violence now.

              And after a couple of years governments would crawl to me, begging for my help.
              It will take longer than a couple of years for any change to the prison system to produce results that show long term improvements such as reductions in reoffending.

              I’m an original thinker, although in this case it’s a simple matter of implementing what works and what doesn’t…in my opinion.
              I hate to tell you this but your thinking on this is far from original. It’s a common belief among authoritarian types. Sounds very Sheriff Arpaio & classic hard liner. I think there are elements of your idea that are worth noting though.

              The idea that treating hardened violent offenders, thugs and criminals nicely & somehow suddenly they’ll all become nicer people has to be avoided & the situation where gangs effectively run some prisons HAS to be addressed by stopping them doing that. One way or another, more money has to be spent on staff & systems & mechanisms to do that.

              But we also have to address the drivers at work out in the fractured poorer communities that make life as a gang member attractive to illiterate, unloved, hopeless young men & the equally worthless & lost young women & teenage girls who breed with them.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  23rd November 2019

              Unemployment is a big factor. Rampant bureaucracy that forces qualifications and registrations for all kinds of employment have created destructive barriers for many. Making driving licences so much harder and costly to get has set many poor kids on the path to prison and crime. The elite and middle classes don’t see the consequences of their legislation and regulation.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  23rd November 2019

              Corks is neither original nor a thinker. He is the only brainless troll shown up by his sadistic fantasies of legal violence that will never happen in a civilised society.

              In YOUR prison, Cork…dream on, no one in their right mind would let you anywhere near a prison, let alone run one. Stalin’s Russia looks like Club Med by comparison with your vindictive fantasy prison.

              The idea that the world will crawl to you begging for your help shows a degree of hubris that is beyond belief.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  24th November 2019

              The rest of us are not arrogant enough to think that we have all the answers to this complex problem, and we are capable, for the most part, of analysis of it so that we can see that there’s no simple solution. If there was, there’d be no problem.

  10. Gezza

     /  23rd November 2019

    One man held a steel bar. Another had a hammer in his right hand and pulled a blue bandanna over his face.

    The Black Power members, most aged in their teens, had stepped out of a black Subaru onto the street on the outskirts of Maraenui, Napier.

    A witness to the events last Sunday said it’s not the first time he’s seen this happen in his area, he doesn’t think it will be the last either.

    “That’s the one!”, one of them called out as they chased after another group of teenagers, who wore red.

    The confrontation happened in front of young children, who he saw playing Cops and Gangsters – not Cops and Robbers – earlier that day, the witness said. “That was the saddest part, kids under five years old seeing this kind of thing, they have no hope.” he said.

    Later that night, shots were fired at the Napier Medical Centre, but that followed a series of violent encounters throughout the day which included a gang member being struck by a car, and another being stabbed.

    A witness told Stuff that they saw a group of Black Power members outside the centre. The group began shouting before a shot was fired at a car, which the witness believed contained Mongrel Mob members.

    A police officer’s house, along with the Wairoa Police Station, were also the targets of gunfire last month. 

    Some say the recent incidents are the result of increased tensions between rivals and even their own chapters, others say it’s nothing new. Detective Inspector Mike Foster said there had been a recent spike in gang membership in the past two years.

    Black Power member and community advocate Denis O’Reilly said things were “unsettled” within gangs due to their growth in numbers, and older members struggled to communicate with younger ones.

    Senior lecturer and clinical psychologist at Waikato University Armon Tamatea said senior members would have had similar experiences when they joined the gangs when they were young. “These people are talking to themselves 20 or 30 years ago, so it’s not surprising that they (younger members) won’t listen. A lot of young people often join gangs when they’re in prison as it reduces their chances of victimisation – especially if they have no support networks. But in saying that, they can also increase their chances of victimisation by marking themselves as rivals of other groups.

    Those who join follow what they know, so they’ll have friends, whānau, uncles and aunties who join – for many, gang-centred lifestyles are considered very normal,” Tamatea said.


    There’s quite a bit more – this is actually a very good article – and shows in my opinion that we – & Maoridom- need to do more to address the gang-recruitment issue than just make excuses, fall for their PR & whanaungatanga manipulation, & lock up only the high-end crims amongst them.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/117546854/growth-in-numbers-a-major-driver-of-latest-gang-tension-in-hawkes-bay

    Reply
    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  23rd November 2019

      [A lot of young people often join gangs when they’re in prison as it reduces their chances of victimisation – especially if they have no support networks. ]

      No kidding. Segregate youth offenders from the gangs… isolate the gangs. treat them as the outlaw scum they are.

      A nice damp and cold cell block on Auckland Island would be a nice start… with simple food, no work out equipment (do press ups and jog if they want to stay health – dont let them build better bodies for use in bashing others)

      Followed by NZ adopting American RICO statue style legislation so office holders in Gangs get big sentences for running criminal organisations even when they use middlemen to keep themselves away from the direct offending…

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  23rd November 2019

        I got no problem with those as part of the solution, trev. We need a “Get Out Of The Gang; Get A Real Life” campaign initiative too – nationwide. Time to address the BIG ELEPHANT in the community. But its only going to work if there are jobs & hope.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  23rd November 2019

          ,,, and if gangs aren’t enriched by the drug trade.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  23rd November 2019

            The US’s crime rate suggests that their way doesn’t work; they have a mass murder almost every day and a huge gang and drug problem.

            Drugs have been around forever; people used to be able to buy opium and morphine over the counter. In the 60s people could buy amphetamines at the chemist.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  23rd November 2019

              Nixon’s War on Drugs has had horrendous consequences world wide. Before he forced NZ into line our drug problem was a few elderly Chinese opium smokers and some hippies dropping out on pot and a bit of acid. Now it’s an industry, a nightmare and a gang enrichment.

  11. Corky

     /  23rd November 2019

    Government gives prisoners the right to vote ( sentences under 3 years). National needs to front up on this issue and promise to revoke this bs.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  23rd November 2019

      What a vindictive, nasty little person you are.

      I bet that you loved getting other kids into trouble at school. Please, sir, please, miss, X is doing….Y did…..’

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  23rd November 2019

        How about taking the vote off people who are too lazy to go and vote ?

        Reply
    • Gezza

       /  23rd November 2019

      A lot of people don’t realise the ban on prisoners voting only came in a decade ago, that it breaches the Bill Of Rights, & that there was no sound reason for it except National capitalising on a “Get tough with crims & punish them every way you can” policy that didn’t work – it was a cheap shot pitch for the votes of the hard line zealots whose approaches have failed to make any positive, lasting difference at all to recidivism rates.

      Removing prisoners’ right to vote only further dehumanises them. There was nothing to suggest prisoners voting causes any major detrimental change to either society or the political landscape.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  23rd November 2019

        Two things:

        1- Prisoners have committed crimes against society…yet they demand the right to shape society? Skewered logic if you ask me. In this case, I say stuff the bill of rights. Let’s get a
        binding constitution. Of course it was a cheap shot by National. I bigger pack of wastrels would be hard to find.

        ”Hard line zealots whose approaches have failed to make any positive, lasting difference at all to recidivism rates.”

        What hardline zealots? Have you seen any of my measures introduced? That’s what you call hardline.

        2- ”Removing prisoners’ right to vote only further dehumanises them.” Please…what about the victims?

        ”There was nothing to suggest prisoners voting causes any major detrimental change to either society or the political landscape.”

        Yeah, there is.They will all vote Left. Andy Little doubts that. Another example of how sly this government is. And how cunning the Nats were.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  23rd November 2019

          1 – Prisoners have committed crimes against society…yet they demand the right to shape society?

          Fuxake, Corks. How much fuggin shaping of society can they do from in prison by just getting a blimmin vote? Come back to earth.

          Have you seen any of my measures introduced? That’s what you call hardline.

          I think they’re being done in various places in the USA. How are they working there? And what’s the long term track record?

          2- ”Removing prisoners’ right to vote only further dehumanises them.” Please…what about the victims?

          I’m against removing their right to vote & dehumanising them too.

          They will all vote Left. Andy Little doubts that. Another example of how sly this government is. And how cunning the Nats were.

          Of course they will. And of course Andy Little knows it. And everybody knows he knows it. He’s a piss poor liar. The Nats might have been cunning but they did fark all to make any difference except contract out running a prison to a private prison servicing company who fked it all up because the profit motive is insufficient to solve the problems inherent in a “lock em up, they’re off the street, & the problem’s solved if you apply a private sector business model that finacially penalises failure to solve it” approach.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  23rd November 2019

            I might mention that it seems that the right to vote that’s been restored is only for prisoners serving sentences of 3 years or (is it?) less. Which makes me wonder how come those serving longer (who presumably can’t vote?) aren’t being considered to have their rights under the BOR breached as well?

            Might have to check this out.

            Reply
            • Corky

               /  24th November 2019

              I was just about to mention that. Again we see a philosophical inconsistency that doesn’t stand up to objective review.

              ”Fuxake, Corks. How much fuggin shaping of society can they do from in prison by just getting a blimmin vote? Come back to earth.”

              They could block vote..and change the political course of our country. Voting for Winston is an example. Plus see above. There are principles involved.

              ”I’m against removing their right to vote & dehumanising them too.”

              A little facetiousness. So where is the justice for victims if prisoners, in the judicial sense, have the same rights as a law abiding citizens?

            • Everyone should have the same fundamental human rights and democratic rights, whether incarcerated or not.

              The incarceration and requirements for rehabilitative programs that address medical and psychological problems is how justice should differentiate.

            • Gezza

               /  24th November 2019

              Morning Corky

              I was just about to mention that. Again we see a philosophical inconsistency that doesn’t stand up to objective review.

              Yes, you’re right there. A case of selective morality, perhaps – the conflict with BORA is either inconsistent generally or it’s not – although the history of prisoners in NZ being denied the vote I posted below is interesting.

              ”Fuxake, Corks. How much fuggin shaping of society can they do from in prison by just getting a blimmin vote? Come back to earth.” They could block vote..and change the political course of our country. Voting for Winston is an example. Plus see above. There are principles involved.

              Ma told me on the blower earlier this morning there are about 2000 prisoners who get to vote again – should they choose to. Some people don’t even vote. Spread around the country that’s not a huge number, although it could be enuf to swing an electorate in some marginal seats.

              ”I’m against removing their right to vote & dehumanising them too.”
              A little facetiousness. So where is the justice for victims if prisoners, in the judicial sense, have the same rights as a law abiding citizens?

              Corky, they’re locked up in the bloody slammer, bro ! They hardly have the same rights as law-abiding citizens. Incarceration in this hell hole of the Pacific is both a punishment & a temporary removal from our streets where they can’t continue offending for the present time & where they, theoretically, can get “some” rehabilitative assistance – altho clearly what we have has been shambolic if it’s there at all.

            • Gezza

               /  24th November 2019

              Folk who get the same length of sentence but are on home detention can still vote. Also an inconsistency.

            • duperez

               /  24th November 2019

              In the overall scheme of things a handful of people would get the chance to vote. In a numbers sense numbers are minuscule.

              One lovely thing to consider is some of the many who choose to not vote will be getting upset that a few people might choose to vote given the opportunity and so make strenuous efforts to deny them.

              As far as the inconsistency re the Bill of Rights, it’s obvious isn’t it. It’s a sop. Political reality ahead of principles. A few prisoners given the vote, those with a shorter time in prison, those who are expected to be in the community in the life of the parliament they’d vote for, draws all sorts of wrath and ‘end of civilisation as we know it’ talk.

              Imagine the reaction if all prisoners were allowed to vote!

            • Corky

               /  24th November 2019

              ”Everyone should have the same fundamental human rights and democratic rights, whether incarcerated or not.”

              I disagree, Pete. I agree in the sense of food, shelter etc. That is the hallmark of democracy and is what differentiates us from immigrants and refugees who come from places where such niceties don’t exist.

              So how do we handle foreign born folk who commit terrorism in the West? We control them with draconian legislation that takes away some of their legislative rights that they’d have if they had committed ordinary criminal offences. Now that is common sense. But you want me to believe the same shouldn’t apply to ordinary criminals who have also sinned against society and the innocent? You would allow them to POSSIBLY shape society with their vote?

            • Corky

               /  24th November 2019

              @ Duperez

              ”In the overall scheme of things a handful of people would get the chance to vote. In a numbers sense numbers are minuscule.”

              Correct.

              ”One lovely thing to consider is some of the many who choose to not vote will be getting upset that a few people might choose to vote given the opportunity and so make strenuous efforts to deny them.”

              Why don’t you just call me out? Probably because I may answer back.
              I doubt anyone, apart from me, who doesn’t vote, will be getting upset that some prisoners will be getting the right to vote. Guess why?

              That above point has very fine demarcation…it’s not about choosing to vote..it’s about the right to vote.

      • Gezza

         /  23rd November 2019

        Some quick history. (Needs updating with this latest development.) The ban on prisoners voting actually has a long record.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_rights_of_prisoners_in_New_Zealand

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  24th November 2019

          Corky confuses skewed (bent or twisted) with skewered.

          One minute he’s frothing at the mouth because prisoners now have the vote again, the next he’s ranting at National for taking it off them…make up your mind.

          The chances of prisoners organising a block vote and this having any effect are so slight as to be not worth considering.I don’t know how HE knows which way all prisoners vote unless he’s done a poll.

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  24th November 2019

          If we are going to select voters there is a wide range of options for qualification: character, age, intelligence, knowledge, residency, nationality, financial, property.

          Best not give politicians power to exploit these.

          Reply
  12. Corky

     /  24th November 2019

    Kitty’s has started on her journey to give us an overview of how she’d improve our prison system. It starts thus:

    ”Corky confuses skewed (bent or twisted) with skewered.”

    I will post updates as they come in folks. 😂

    Reply

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