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

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English, Abroad

Looks like you need to get the blurb yourself. Probably best to do that irrespective, actually.If David Cameron was the closest thing John Key had to a political mentor, their successors also share a whole lot in common.

Theresa May and Bill English were both propelled into the top jobs as the result of unexpected resignations, and without much in the way of credible competition from their colleagues. Neither have yet been given a mandate to govern by the electorate although – in both countries – the Labour opposition is in less than robust shape. More>>

 

Pike River: Labour Bill To Override Safety Act For Mine Entry

“Bill English has been hiding behind the legal excuse that any attempt to re-enter the mine to recover the bodies might place the mine’s owner, Solid Energy Limited, and its directors in breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Populism And Labour 2017

For many people on the centre-left, populism is a dirty word, and a shorthand for the politics of bigotry. In this country, it has tended to be equated with the angry legions of New Zealand First. Who knew they were not just a reactionary spasm, but the wave of the future? More>>

Oxfam: 30% Of NZ Owns Less Wealth Than Our Two Richest Men

The research also reveals that the richest one per cent have 20 per cent of the wealth in New Zealand, while 90 per cent of the population owns less than half of the nation’s wealth. The research forms part of a global report released to coincide with this week’s annual meeting of political and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More>>

ALSO:

Hospitals: Resident Doctors Set To Strike Again

Despite discussions between the DHBs and NZRDA over safer hours for resident doctors progressing during the last week, the strike planned for next week appears set to proceed. More>>

ALSO:

Not So Super Fund: More Burning Ethical Questions For Steven Joyce

Greens: Radio New Zealand reported this morning that the New Zealand Superfund has $77 million invested in 47 coal companies that the Norwegian Government’s Pension Fund – the largest sovereign fund in the world – has blacklisted. More>>

Activism: Greenpeace Intercepts World’s Biggest Seismic Oil Ship

Greenpeace crew have made contact with the world’s biggest seismic oil ship after travelling 50 nautical miles on two rigid-hulled inflatables off the coast of Wairarapa... Greenpeace radioed the master of the Amazon Warrior to deliver an open letter of protest signed by over 60,000 New Zealanders. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: Why Tax Cuts In 2017 Would Be A (Proven) Bad Idea

Ever since the world fell prey to the mullahs of the free market in the 1980s, no amount of real world evidence has managed dispel one key tenet of their economic faith. Namely, the idea that if you cut income taxes and taxes on small business, a wave of individual enterprise and entrepreneurial energy will thus be unleashed, profits will rise and – hey bingo! – the tax cuts will soon be paying for themselves ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
More RSS  RSS
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news