Wednesday, 15 April 2009


We are with Pita Sharples on this one. He wants a new style of prison with a Maori focus.

The National Government is open to the concept. Corrections Minister Judith Collins says she is "very keen" if it can be shown to reduce the Maori crime rate.

Dr Sharples wants the 60-bed institution to be located in an urban centre so education and employment opportunities can be provided to Maori prisoners "who are determined to learn, heal and socialise".

He said the institution would still have security measures like other prisons: "There'll be locks on the gates".

Dr Sharples said he had previously referred to the centre as an "alternative prison". It would have fewer jailers and "more healers, teachers, social workers".

Prisoners would have to "earn" their way into the centre by learning to speak Maori, he said.

They would prove themselves by becoming literate if they were not already, getting involved in a community project or charity from inside, and showing good behaviour for four months or more


If we were running prisons all white collar crims would be housed in the worst cells. For them it would have the most impact. Instead they end up in cushy prisons and on home detention. So prison is no real deterrent for them.

But, put the worst offender, who has had a crap life in an institution that shows him how the world can be, let him sample a life he has never known , lets him tastes the good fruits of society, give him hope and aspiration and you may have less recidivism. We reckon it is really worth a punt.

Good to see the Nats supporting this one.


Observer said...

The current approach doesn't work. And there's no way we will get back to public floging - which used to work. SO why not give it a try? Throw the extremes into the opposite end of the spectrum and see if nature or nurture wins!

kehua said...

I recall an annual event that for years was held in tents or woolsheds and it inevitably ended in all out brawling, some time in the 80`s this event was held in Hotel lounges or similar venues and bugger me everyone just acted appropriately and civil.
Kinda miss the old days occasionally.