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Open Letter to David Bennett - Prisoners not clients?

Prisoners not clients? …..

Saturday 23 November 2019

Dear Mr Bennett

In reference to your Press release 22 November 2019

“David Bennett – They’re prisoners, not clients Kelvin”

I question how you can somehow construe that the title of a prisoner, inmate, convict, men in care, women in care or clients is somehow a “soft on crime approach”.

How does the definition of a person incarcerated have any relevance whatsoever to a Governments stance on crime?

And just to be clear, there is a duty of care for prisoners. Otherwise are you implying the repeat drink driver should be left to their own devices against a serious violent offender? Or the drug addict who has been swept under the legal carpet should face off with a gang member who is earning their stripes?

Not all “persons in care” pose the danger to New Zealand citizens as you refer. In fact, most are inside through an unavoidable culture of criminal activity that they have had no say in from a young age. In a lot of cases they are the victims.

Reducing numbers in prison is a positive step, if handled in the right manner by politicians, or member’s or civil servants or whatever you wish to be called. And trust me, there are many names the general public gives politicians which, either way, has no impact on your performance or the way you are viewed.

An “informed” civil servant would know prison is not a holiday and freeing up the funds associated with incarceration and directing them towards a more positive form of crime reduction education is taxpayer’s money better spent.

Also, to “politicise” Christchurch or any other heinous crime in order to get your point across is not acceptable. I have no party preference but take serious offence to that political tactic.


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