National Announces Plan To Hit Youth With Big Mallets
National Announces Plan To Hit Youth With Comically Large Rubber MalletsBy Lyndon Hood
The National party has announced its youth justice policy, which includes a controversial plan for recidivist serious youth offenders to be hit over the head with a comically large rubber mallet.
Overseas evidence shows comical-mallet-child-head-bopping programmes have actually increased reoffending. But National Party leader Bill English explained that in the current system, which otherwise works well, a small group of young people continue to commit large numbers of serious offences. So being mean to bad people must be good.
A similar National government programme introduced in 2009 failed to produce positive results. Social Services Minister Paula Bennett explained that this time it's different because the mallets will be comically (rather than unusually) large and would be wielded by the military (rather than youth social workers). So it will work better for some reason.
Offender-clobbering "crackdowns" are believed to be a vote winner among the kind of people who think a picture of a teenager in a hoodie standing near a wall is inherently menacing.
Tough on hooded sweatshirts,
tough on the causes of hooded sweatshirts.
The policy also includes a plan to fine parents whose children were out too late at night. This has been interpreted as an attempt to court Gareth Morgan's TOP Party by echoing his cat control plans, but with actual human children.
The usefulness of this approach is also disputed. Questions arose as to whether parents would have money for a fine, whether they would necessarily be able to control the child without assistance, and whether it would be enforced fairly. In response to these concerns, English did not rule out hitting the parents on the head with a bundle of sticks instead.
Asked why, if he was personally championing a new, data-driven approach to social services, his government kept implementing policies that were famous for being counterproductive, and whether this was just because Jacinda Arden was quite popular, English hit the reporter over the head with a dead cat.