Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Prison Reform Debate

Prison Reform Debate a “Symphony of Sound Bytes and Spin”.

Prison Fellowship National Director, Kim Workman believes that the public debate on prison reform has degenerated into a “symphony of sound bytes and spin”.

In a report released today on his recent visit to Europe with the Minister of Corrections, and Garth McVicar, of the Sensible Sentencing Trust, he comments on the debate following their return from overseas.

“It confirmed my earlier view that prison reform is too important an issue to be left to politicians. The debate has quickly degenerated into a symphony of sound bytes and spin. Comments were plucked out of context to create division.

We cannot rely on the political will to take this debate where it needs to go. The only way we can succeed, is to engage the whole community in structured debate and discussion. We need solutions and alternatives developed by New Zealanders for New Zealanders. Fifty-one per cent of the prison population is Maori, yet Maori have been notably absent from the wider public discussion. We need not only to have a rational discussion, but a national discussion.

Prison Fellowship supports the Salvation Army in its call for a multi-party accord. Part of that accord, should be government support for public discussion and debate. In summary, Prison Fellowship makes the following key points:

It is widely agreed that the penal system is not working as it should.

We have a record prison population but do not feel protected from crime. Prison has an apparently uncritical support from some sections of the media and public, yet large numbers of prisoners re-offend. Politicians view it as a popular policy response, despite its enormous financial and social cost.

Whatever your view of prison, we think there is a need for fresh thinking, new ideas and a much wider public debate. We believe that the government should fund and facilitate this debate.

2. Improving public understanding

The government should resource a structured process, to inform the public of the basic facts and debate with them about the nature of crime and punishment.

3. Fresh thinking about alternatives

One of our aims is to increase awareness of the alternatives to prison, and examine the most effective use of prison. We support projects which investigate and promote alternatives to prison such as restorative justice and other community penalties through campaigns, conferences and seminars, as well as through detailed research and reports.

4. Active involvement

Prison Fellowship supports approaches which actively involve members of the public in the criminal justice and penal system. The government needs to involve such groups as business leaders, magistrates, the families of offenders and community groups. We should also publicise the ways in which volunteers can get involved in the criminal justice system.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election