More crims behind bars means a safer society

NZ prison population.jpgThe number of people in NZ’s prisons reached an all time high of 9436 on April 16th this year and the Department of Corrections expects numbers to reach 10,000 by 2017.

Its not totally down to harsher punishment as remands account for some of the increase.

Justice Minister Amy Adams said the Government strengthened bail and parole laws to improve public safety.

“Our reforms centred around ensuring our laws are holding offenders to account and keeping the right people in prison,” she said.

One time I can throw Amy a bit of credit. Then we have the other side of the liberal coin-

University of Canterbury criminologist Greg Newbold says prisons are over crowded and this impacts on rehabilitiation. In fact one crim was “having a hell of a job getting his study done because he’s got a cellmate who wants to play radio or his guitar”.

Maybe he should have thought of that when he was carrying out the likely thirty burglaries that put him behind bars.

Frankly I’m not a fan of so called rehabilitiation and I would cancel govt funding for the whole industry if it was in my power. It undermines the message of personal accountability by the implication that society is to blame for the actions of criminals rather than the crim himself.

In fact you have to be a pretty recedivist criminal to be jailed in NZ. Also, Ron Marks did a study of a rehab scheme which (from memory) showed a 70% re-offend rate for participants.