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

 


Prison System - A topic to gossip and be informed on


Prison System - A topic to gossip and be informed on


October 18 2013

The Anglican Bishop of Wellington will end his week long prayer vigil for prisoners and associated victims this Sunday morning.

Bishop Justin Duckworth hopes his action, in a prayer cell outside Wellington Cathedral of St Paul, has left the country more informed about the current prison system and more willing to consider alternatives to prison that better serves victims and offenders.

"Prisons are intended for society's well-being, yet two thirds of prisoners reoffend in two years. So we need to realise that a prison sentence only works in a minority of cases. As a society we need to consider options other than prison that can repair the harm to victims, their families, and the community," says Bishop Justin.

One wall in Bishop Justin's cell is papered with a list of every jail cell, in every prison in the country. During the past week he has systematically prayed through that list for approximately 8100 prisoners, and for all the victims.

Each day he has also led midday services that were attended daily by about 80-90 people, at which he spoke briefly about an aspect of penal reform. The topics included the underlying causes of crime, such as poverty, and alcohol and drug dependency, and the need for prisoner reintegration into society. 

Bishop Justin says he is not protesting at any organisation but there is ample research that shows punishment alone does not address the causes of crime, nor solve high rates of reoffending, nor foster safer communities.

"The government has rolled out an extensive restorative justice programme but we as a society have been slow to adopt such programmes. Research shows that 74% of victims surveyed felt better served by a restorative justice approach than by a prison term being served," says Bishop Justin.

Bishop Justin applauds the government initiative that was further detailed this week with measures to ensure each prisoner gets the education they need. His concern is that until now he has seen and heard too often that short term prisoners miss out on much needed education and rehabilitation, including literacy and drug and alcohol dependency, as their sentence is under two years or they cannot read.

"It is hard to have fewer victims of crime when too many prisoners leave with the only skill being able to offend again. That's why prisons become a revolving door and that kind of justice does not serve anyone," says Bishop Justin.

Bishop Justin will leave the prayer cell to speak and lead midday services today and on Saturday for an hour. His prayer vigil will end on Sunday October 20th at 10am as he leads a service in the Cathedral. This will be followed by a media conference at 11.30am at the Cathedral.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Urgent Bill Planned:
MP Pay Rises To Match Public Service

Prime Minister John Key today announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency.

Mr Key says the decision was made after the Remuneration Authority’s latest determination which saw the total remuneration received by MPs increased by about 3.5 per cent...

The new legislation will be backdated to 1 July 2014, meaning the pay increase outlined in the latest determination will not be awarded. More>>

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

PM's Press Conference: MP Pay Rises, Solid Energy, Iraq

Prime Minister John Key answered questions in his Post-Cabinet press conference about the Iraq deployment, Solid Energy and National’s decision to overhaul the Remuneration Authority Act. More>>

ALSO:

Worksafe: MSD Charged Over Work And Income Ashburton Shooting

WorkSafe NZ has laid one charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in relation to the shooting at the MSD Ashburton office on 1 September 2014 in which two Work and Income staff were killed and another was injured. More>>

ALSO:

Iraq: Ex-Hostage Says Government Not Putting NZers, Iraqis First

Harmeet Singh Sooden is travelling to Iraq in the coming weeks to work with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) on a short-term assignment. More>>

ALSO:

Joint Statement: Australia-New Zealand Leaders’ Meeting

Prime Minister Key warmly welcomed Prime Minister Abbott and Mrs Abbott to New Zealand. The visit has enabled wide-ranging and substantive discussion that has underlined the strength, value, diversity and warmth of our trans-Tasman relationship. More>>

ALSO:

Press Conference: Peters To Stand In Northland By-Election

New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters has announced his intention to stand in the Northland by-election, citing his own links to the electorate and ongoing neglect of the region by central government. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Wage Hike For MPs (and Paul Robeson)

Hard to tell what is more infuriating. Is it the 5.3% increase on the already bloated salaries of MPs, or their pantomime of outrage at being gifted with such a wonderful back-dated bonanza? More>>

ALSO:

No Designers Or Visual Artists: Flag Panel Members Announced

The Government has appointed 12 New Zealanders as members of the Flag Consideration Panel which will engage with the public about a possible new New Zealand flag, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English says. More>>

ALSO:

Labour MP Stands Down From Portfolio: Comment From Carmel Sepuloni

The first I knew of my mother’s charges was when I was called by a reporter yesterday. I spoke to Andrew and we agreed there is a conflict of interest at the present time which means I will temporarily stand aside from the Social Development portfolio. It’s the right thing to do… . More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news