This blistering appraisal of the get tough on crime rhetoric is this years best journalism and a must read…
Derek Cheng takes a deep dive into Three Strikes, its impact on public safety, why the courts tempered it, and how a minister’s words were used to justify softer sentences.
…with ACT promising to bring back 3 strikes, the law and order debate has become a political issue.
This is extremely grim reading…
Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has issued a blistering critique of the Department of Corrections’ top brass, who he says are failing to drive meaningful progress.
Boshier started an investigation into management at Corrections, after the 2020 Waikeria Prison riot. He said it became clear that previous recommendations for change at Corrections had not been actioned, and so investigated management and culture within the department.
“Waikeria was one of many prisons I had inspected over a number of years where despite countless recommendations for change by both me and other oversight agencies, the same issues kept coming up, again and again,” he said.
He said Corrections’ senior leaders knew what needed to be done, but had not ensured any improvements were made to the conditions of prisons.
…look, I appreciate that many of you are frightened and angry by the post covid crime wave that is hitting us, just as it is in Australia, UK, Canada and America. The sacrifice of Covid was unequally shared in an unequal society and those distortions are manifesting now.
I’m sure you’ll not have read whatever the Chief Ombudsman was complaining about, you are guessing he’s whinging about not getting enough culturally appropriate cuddles and hongi’s at night eh?
He was probably complaining that Chippy himself isn’t coming down to the gates to personally welcome all the crime he’s letting out with maps to all the Michael Hill Jewellers located around the city eh?
Some wet liberal wank eh?
Except he wasn’t.
Except he was giving a final clarion call of a warning that the current system is so busted, so broken that the basics of living inside the prison are in critical meltdown.
Do you understand what he’s saying here?
He said there needed to be a greater focus on ensuring basic human rights for prisoners, with poor conditions in the prisons making it more dangerous for staff and prisoners as tensions rose.
The living conditions become so squalid that the prisoners will revolt and you will spark prison riots!
That’s what happened at the Waikeria prison riot! The living conditions, even for a prison, became so run down and inoperable that it collapsed.
He said the riot at Waikeria prison was fuelled, in part, due to the poor living conditions and human rights abuses at prison.
“Those issues included unreasonable lock up hours, a lack of privacy in toilet and shower areas, and, in the case of Waikeria, decrepit conditions in its high security areas,” he said.
In previous reports about Waikeria, Boshier said he had highlighted those concerns and they had been accepted by Corrections. Yet he said there hadn’t been much, if any, progress to addressing these issues.
“This troubled me so much that I felt a deep dive was necessary to understand why the department hasn’t been able to make meaningful and long-lasting change,” he said.
National and ACT if elected want to plough thousands more people into our broken and dysfunctional Prison Empire with zero costings and no way to fund the enormous spike in the Prison population they are about to embark us upon.
Watch for the calls to privatise the prison system.
An underfunded, violent and corrupt prison system will only produce more damaged men. Is your need for vengeance so blinding?
An expert has slammed National’s proposed law and order reforms, saying the party’s policy is “retrograde”.
At a party conference over the weekend, National said wanted to limit judge discretion in sentencing, curb the use of cultural reports, and offer rehabilitation to remand prisoners that are awaiting sentencing.
AUT law dean and parole board member Khylee Quince told Breakfast: “There was not a lot of inspiring policy proposed in this suite of reforms, nothing new here really. I’d sum it up by saying ‘ineffective, expensive and inequitable’.”
It comes after data released in March showed retail crime had increased by 39% over the year prior.
But National’s announcement “is fear-mongering”, Quince said.
“They’ve cherry-picked certain categories of crime there, [and] the media chooses to highlight certain types of crime at any given time.
National claim the soft-on-crime-cuddle-a-crim Labour Party are fecklessly letting out 4000 prisoners while the crime rate soars. What they don’t understand is Labour lowered the prison population using National Party Prison policy that allowed for non violent offenders to apply for home detention while in prison. The only difference between National’s use of their policy and Labour’s is that Labour provided prisoners with help filling out the forms because most prisoners are illiterate.
If National don’t understand the current prison policy, how can they provide solutions?
National claimed they would get prisoners on remand to complete rehabilitation programs, but you can’t use any rehabilitation programs unless you accept your guilt. Why would prisoners on remand waiting trial admit guilt?
Do National actually know what they are talking about?
We had this surreal situation over the weekend where Journalists bombarded National for costing of this mass incarceration policy and they had no numbers. Asked what the cost of a NZer in prison per annum was, Paul Goldsmith and Chris Luxon said “$100,000,” when the actual cost is $193 000″.
How can a Party push extreme uncosted policy like this and pretend to be a Government in waiting?
My fear is that ACT and National can’t actually tell the difference between the Mongrel Mob, Headhunters, Hells Angels, Black Power or Comancheros and that’s an enormous problem because the gangs who flooded Opotiki to mourn the murder of their President and who freaked middle NZ out so much last week, are not the same as the sophisticated Cartel linked gangs who are making enormous profit from NZs meth trade.
How will banning gang patches prevent the 501 syndicates from importing south american cartel meth?
We ask Judges to be independent and use mercy in their decision making, National wants to rob Judges of that discretion and force them to impose heavy sentences even if there are mitigating circumstances.
Do National want justice or a lynch mob?
Those derided ‘cultural reports’ give Judges insight into the criminal to see ion there is anything redeemable here rather than the simply brutality off imprisonment!
WE. WANT. JUDGES. TO. HAVE. THIS. INSIGHT!!!!!!!
National don’t actually understand the Prison Empire they built when last in power, their solutions to remove discretion from Judges, impose harsher sentences while pretending rehabilitation programs (that can never and will never work in remand) are the silver bullets.
This isn’t a law and order debate, this is a right wing wet dream fantasy that has little basis in reality. None of the ‘solutions’ National are offering will do the things they say they are attempting to solve!
If anything, it will cause an explosion in the prison population which will ultimately lead to a full blown prison riot as the underfunded, over crowded, violent jail population (minus any of the joke rehabilitation National are promising) will event horizon into a black hole of misery and suffering!!!
So why is our crime rate soaring?
Well, we have to acknowledge the unprecedented importation of 501s bringing a culture of criminal violence far in excess of what was generated by our domestic gangs. Labour can’t be blamed for that!
We also have to acknowledge that dairy crime was far higher in 2016 when National were last in power than they are now!
What is generating the majority of the current crime wave however is the same thing that is generating crime waves throughout the post-covid Western World.
Post covid societal and economic stresses causing crime waves at the same time there is 12.1% food inflation and a cost of living crisis while surviving the ongoing economic, cultural and social impacts of climate crisis storms and geopolitical shockwaves is as predictable as National having to walk something back 24 hours after Luxon says it!
Of course crime is exploding everywhere because the covid sacrifice was felt unevenly across our unequal society, pretending building more uncosted fucking prisons is a solution to all of that is sophistry at its most intellectually bankrupt.
Don’t allow your fear to be manipulated.
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