Crime & Punishment, what's behind the rhetoric?

I found myself agreeing with much that Judith Collins was saying on Q&A regarding our crime statistics. While good policing probably has made a positive difference to crime there is an on going problem with an element of police culture which needs to be resolved and she is quite right to expect that this should happen. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation would also make a huge difference, but it is just a pity that stronger controls over the sales and advertising of alcohol couldn't have supported such initiatives. The high expectations placed on the private prison sounds good too, but if this prison is expected to deliver on expectations, and make a profit, I can see cuts will be made in the pay and conditions of staff. Private residential homes for our elderly ensure profits buy employing non-qualified staff and having minimal employment conditions and private prisons have an international reputation for the same. While removing cigarettes from prisons makes sense on one level, the potential for black markets and increased violence must also be a consequence. I find for every seemingly reasonable statement that the Minister made, the reality behind them provided cause for concern.

It is only when we compare our crime and imprisonment figures with other countries in the OECD that we really see where we stand internationally and despite the recent drop in crime, our imprisonment figures are disturbing. Our rate of incarceration is still second only to the United States and at an annual cost of $91,000 per prisoner I am surprised that this isn't a focus of future savings rather than beneficiaries.

Surely it is addressing our appalling inequities of income, providing support for struggling families and quality early childhood education that will truly make a difference to crime statistics. If our young children have a good start in life there is a good likelihood that they will become capable, resilient adults and contribute positively to society.

Tough action on cigarettes and a private prison is not going to make a difference!


Wellinton eo said…
The real solution for our over-loaded justice system, our over-worked police force and the waste of resources building new jails is as obvious as the nose on your face.

But no one seems to see it.

The most common driver of crime in this country is the drug booze.

About half of all murders, half of all sexual assaults, well over half of "street violence", well over half of "domestic violence", involves the drug ............ booze.

The cost of the drug booze has remained the same for over thirty years while wages have risen considerably.

The drug boozed is "pushed" and marketed at our young with over $1million per week spent on "marketing".

The shortfall between tax taken from the sale of the drug booze and the expenditure from , locking up prisoners, more police officers and justice sector workers, building more jails, the extra doctors and health-workers in emergency rooms of hospitals........

The shortfall between the money the Government takes of booze and what it has to spend because of the drug booze is .....BILLIONS

Judith Collins knows the drug booze is the biggest cause of work and waste in the justice sector.

She is effectively CORRUPT by always failing to mention this elephant in the sitting room.

Its because he National Government is hand in hand with the booze makers and pushers.

Thats why John Keys has ruled out any increase in tax on the drug booze to try and minimize the damage this drug causes to our people, our families and our country.

Number 1 drug problem , Number 1 crime problem ........... the booze.
bsprout said…
Wellington eo- alcohol is certainly a huge issue, not only contributing to crime but damaging health and family relationships. I'm sure many of the behaviour issues in children has a relationship to the alcohol consumption of young mothers. Note my new link to an article on Prof Doug Sellman, he has been campaigning for proper reform for some time.

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