Fellowship Calls for Prison Muster Crisis Debate
Prison Fellowship Calls for Debate on Prison Muster Crisis
“Prison musters have increased faster than a most expensive building programme can cope with” said Kim Workman, National Director of Prison Fellowship New Zealand.
“At out Board meeting on Saturday, 5th November, all our members were concerned at the exponential increase in the prison population. And all this is happening at a time when reported crime rates are dropping each year” said Mr Workman.
“Prisons are essential to public safety but long terms of imprisonment should be kept for those who commit serious violent crimes, to career criminals and drug dealers. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of prisoners who do not come within these categories and represent no threat to public safety” he said.
Mr Workman went on to say that the time had arrived for a comprehensive public debate on this issue. He considered that hundreds of prisoners would be better dealt with by being required to work in the community with a portion of their wages going to victims. “When property offences are involved no offender should be allowed to keep the proceeds. Sending them to prison does nothing for the victim. “
“Let’s engage in some widespread discussion, consider all points of view, and look for more innovative ways of punishing effectively while ensuring that public safety is not compromised”, said Mr Workman.