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

 

NZ First’s short, sharp prison sentences “yesterday’s ideas”

NZ First’s short, sharp prison sentences “yesterday’s ideas” says Rethinking


New Zealand First’s intention to bring in short, sharp prison sentences with hard labour to deter offenders, are yesterday’s ideas, says Kim Workman, Spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment. He was referring to Winston Peter’s opinion piece with Radio Live (14 Feb) “It is a flawed policy for two reasons. “

First, the evidence overwhelmingly shows that it won’t work, and will cost the taxpayer. Second, the New Zealand public has moved on from the ‘tough on crime’ policies of 7 or 8 years ago, - the public know that ‘short sharp sentences’ are in the same category as ‘boot camps’ - we instinctively believe they should work, but the evidence tells us otherwise.”

“The New Zealand public are wising up. A recent Ministry of Justice survey into ‘Public Attitudes to showed that only 5% of respondents agreed that prisons deterred people from committing crime, with the same number advocating for harsher treatment, mostly in the form of longer sentences. Only 6% considered that increasing rehabilitation in prisons would increase their confidence in the justice system, while almost twice that number (11%) favoured community based rehabilitation. The public taste for punishment is waning.”
“One of the main reasons for the change in public attitude is that people now understand that these ideas don’t work. New Zealand introduced the three month short, sharp sentence idea in 1961 with Detention Centres and again in 1978 with Corrective Training. Prisoners ran everywhere on the double, worked in the forestry all day, and were exposed to tough discipline and education. They went into prison as unfit young criminals and left as angry, fit young criminals. A 1983 Department of Justice study showed that 71 percent of trainees were reconvicted within a year of release.”

“There has been a lot of research into whether harsh sentences deter offenders, and there is no evidence to support it. What the evidence does show is that offending may well increase, as offenders who serve harsh sentences find it difficult to re-adjust to community living once released.”

“Short sentences for offenders are also a bad investment. Recent research by the Washington State Policy Institute, a world leader in assessing the cost effectiveness of criminal justice programmes, shows that imprisoning low- and medium-risk people provides a negative benefit-cost ratio. In other words, it increases the likelihood of offending rather than reduces it. “
ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And Times Of Peter Dunne

In the end, Mr Pragmatic calmly read the signs of impending defeat and went out on his own terms. You could use any number of clichés to describe Peter Dunne’s exit from Parliament.

The unkind might talk of sinking ships, others could be more reminded of a loaded revolver left on the desk by his Cabinet colleagues as they closed the door behind them, now that the polls in Ohariu had confirmed he was no longer of much use to National. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Labour’s Campaign Launch

One of the key motifs of Ardern’s speech was her repeated use of the phrase – “Now, what?” Cleverly, that looks like being Labour’s response to National’s ‘steady as it goes’ warning against not putting the economic ‘gains’ at risk. More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Social Welfare, Explained

Speaking as someone who has seen better times and nowadays mostly operates by being really annoying and humiliating to deal with, I have some fellow feeling with the current system, so I’ll take this chance to set a few things straight.. More>>

ALSO:

Deregistered: Independent Board Decision On Family First

The Board considers that Family First has a purpose to promote its own particular views about marriage and the traditional family that cannot be determined to be for the public benefit in a way previously accepted as charitable... More>>

ALSO:

Transport Policies: Nats' New $10.5bn Roads Of National Significance

National is committing to the next generation of Roads of National Significance, National Party Transport Spokesperson Simon Bridges says. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election