Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Tougher line needed on prison work

Simon Power
National Party Law & Order Spokesman

1 April 2006

Tougher line needed on prison work

The Corrections Department should explain what action it is taking with prisoners who don’t want to work, says National’s Law & Order spokesman, Simon Power.

He is commenting on answers by Corrections Minister Damien O’Connor to parliamentary questions which show that up to 100 remand and sentenced prisoners refuse to take part in any employment activity while in prison.

“Letting these prisoners get away with not working just cements the perception that prison is a soft option for many of them. Not working while in prison should not be an option in normal circumstances.

“I also question why nearly 700 prisoners are excluded from employment activities because of ‘disciplinary or security reasons, or because they were identified drug users’.

“That’s more than 10% of the prison population. In most instances, I would have thought work is exactly the sort of therapy these people need, rather than having them sit around in their cells doing nothing.

“This Labour Government has let work programmes slip, from a budget of $46.5 million in 2001/02 to $30.5 million this year.

“This was noted by the Ombudsmen in their December 2005 report into the treatment of prisoners: ‘We received a consistent message from all quarters that available meaningful occupation had diminished severely in recent years. This was something that concerned us greatly. Idleness does nothing for rehabilitation. As one staff member put it, prisoners who have spent all day (possibly for years) lying in bed are not going to be released and say, "I'm now going to go to work".’

“There is no doubt in my mind that all prisoners should be doing meaningful work, training or study while they are in prison, and I am confident the public would agree,” says Mr Power.

“The system should be instilling the values of work and self-improvement in these people so they are better prepared and rehabilitated when they are released.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news