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

 

Parliament Today:

Werewolf: The Defence Pretence

Last year, the world began spending more money on weapons again, for the first time since 2011... New Zealand belongs to a region – Asia and Oceania – where military spending rose sharply in 2015, by 5.4 per cent. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Not Crying Foul, Argentina

So a couple of guys found to be criminally liable of environmental pollution in Argentina lodge an application with the Overseas Investment Office… in order to buy some prime New Zealand rural land. Seems that their factory back home had carelessly and/or intentionally discharged toxic waste into the Lujan river. Bummer... More>>

ALSO:

Urban & Rural: $303m To Merge And Modernise New Zealand’s Fire Services

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne today announced funding of $303 million over five years to combine urban and rural fire services into one organisation from mid-2017. More>>

ALSO:

High Trust Regime: What Did The PM Tell His Lawyer About Foreign Trusts?

The Government stopped the IRD from reviewing New Zealand foreign trusts shortly after the Prime Minister’s lawyer wrote to the Revenue Minister claiming John Key had promised him the regime would not be changed. More>>

ALSO:

Road Crime: Wicked Campers Vans Classified As Objectionable

The definition of publication includes any "thing that has printed or impressed upon it, or otherwise shown upon it, 1 or more (or a combination of 1 or more) images, representations, signs, statements, or words", The Classification Office has previously classified such 'things' as billboards, t-shirts, and even a drink can. This is the first time the Classification Office has classified a vehicle. More>>

ALSO:

'When New' Repairs: Landmark EQC Settlement

The Earthquake Commission has cut a deal with 98 Canterbury homeowners that affirms the government entity's responsibility to repair earthquake-damaged property to a 'when new' state, as well as covering repairs for undamaged parts of a property and clarifying its position on cash settlement calculations. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Kiwirail’s Latest Stint In The Dogbox

The denigration of Kiwirail continues. The latest review (based on a 2014 assessment) of the options facing the company have enabled Kiwirail to be hung out to dry once again as a liability and burden on the taxpayer. More>>

ALSO:

Royal Society Report: Good Opportunities To Act Now On Climate Change

There are many actions New Zealand can and should take now to reduce the threat of climate change and transition to a low-carbon economy, a report released today by the Royal Society of New Zealand finds... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news