A month ago, the Corrections Minister said without equivocation, to no less than the Kingiitanga, that “Reducing reoffending by Māori offenders is a high priority for Corrections.” A nice line, sure, but an empty one, totally divorced from reality, if we’re to take anything away from the Waitangi Tribunal’s report on Māori reoffending rates, Tū […]
Earlier this week I posed some questions to Finance Minister Bill English about his support for the government’s plan to spend a billion dollars on a new prison. I was pretty disappointed in his answers, all of which flew in the face of his own comments in the past acknowledging that prisons were a moral and fiscal failure.
Our increase in prison numbers – ‘average’ numbers of incarcerated offenders have more than doubled over the last twenty years – is not because New Zealanders are becoming more lawless or because the crime rate is increasing (they aren’t, and it isn’t).
A week ago I visited Lillestrøm, a short train journey to the north-east of Oslo and the site of the KRUS Correctional Service Training Academy the Norwegian training school for prison officers.
As Parliament goes into recess for two weeks, I’m heading away first to UK, then to Northern Europe. The purpose of my trip, somewhat unusually, is to visit and learn more about prisons and prison systems.
A quick year-end pop-quiz – which government department has had a 220% increase in its budget over the last decade, but has still managed to end this year mired in mismanagement, under-performance, violence and mayhem; requiring a multi-million dollar emergency cash injection to keep the whole catastrophe afloat? Corrections, take a bow. Of all the portfolios […]
It should seem obvious to employers, private or public, that it’s important to do what you can to retain your best, most experienced staff. They make life easier for you because they’re effective, attentive and often respected by those around them; they carry years of invaluable institutional knowledge with them; they pass that knowledge on […]
A report released this month has provided evidence supporting the view that we still have a lot of work to do to make our prisons decent, humane, and likely to release people back into society in better shape then when they went in. New Zealand is a signatory to the ‘Optional Protocol to the Convention […]
The Corrections Amendment Bill has been back in the House this week – on Tuesday for its second reading, yesterday for the committee stages, and depending on progress in the House it may come back later today (Thursday) for its third and final reading. The Bill is a shabby piece of lawmaking, which among other […]
The Government has an Action Plan to reduce crime and reoffending, and it’s great they are going to have a go. Instead of just promising to lock more people up for longer, or forever, they say they will work differently, including more closely with communities and iwi. They have targets that may seem unrealistic — […]