GUEST BLOG: Arthur Taylor – Can Corrections Get Anything Right?

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The Head Office of Corrections is Mayfair House at 44 The Terrace Wellington. Many frontline Corrections staff, and most prisoners, refer to it as ‘Bullshit House’, much the same as many cops refer to their Wellington headquarters as ‘Bullshit Palace’. One of the craziest decisions that has ever come out of B\S House was a decision that all prisoners must use Anchor trim milk.

Up until then prisoners had always had the normal ‘blue’ milk the ration is two 300mL cartons on weekdays and one 300mL carton on Saturday’s and Sunday’s. Then one of the rocket scientist that populate B\S House thought he\she had better come up with something to justify their $170,000+ salary. So ignoring all the other problems Corrections has, like the soaring prisoner suicide rate, a prison muster expected to be 10,000 by Christmas (the highest in our history and this despite the crime rate having reduced dramatically due mainly to the age group that commit most crimes also dropping considerably) came up with a brilliant idea to change all prisoners’ milk ration to trim milk.

Now I’m not knocking that as a lifestyle choice for people who want to reduce the fat content in their diet. But most prisoners are young and relatively healthy and far from reducing the fat in their diet need as much as they can get because of the spartan and monotonous food served up in prison these days. Imagine you’re young fit and healthy and engaged in work that uses up a lot of energy and you’re forced for so called health reasons to have only trim milk. The taste alone puts you off. As far as the majority of prisoners are concerned it’s an inferior milk to the normal one and what about female prisoners who are expectant mothers? B\S House allows no exceptions you get Hobson’s choice trim milk or no milk!

This in the context of the best quality meat prisoners get being the cheapest sausages or mince you can buy and both being absolutely saturated in fat. Those prisoners with money pay Corrections $8 for a 400g pack of Pam’s whole milk powder to mix with the trim milk to try make it taste something like real milk, which seems to rather defeat the purpose of changing the milk in the first place. But Corrections are selling lots of whole milk powder and no doubt making plenty of money out of it. I’ve asked Corrections to review this stupid national policy so here’s hoping there’s some common sense left in B\S House!

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Arthur Taylor is currently in prison and blogs about prisoner rights for TDB

11 COMMENTS

  1. giving a convicted criminal and current prisoner a platform here simply demonstrates how the left is so out of touch with middle N.Z. and is just one example of why there is no stopping National and Key in the polls.

    • There are innocent folks in there also still so treat them all as innocent until truly proved guilty not framed as guilty.

      We all know that the cops need to be seen to be solving the case and more directly Correction need bums on beds to make privatisation of prisons look good and for Serco some more money.

  2. Dave you seem to forget that these people are human beings and are entitled to have a voice which shows the pettiness of the prisoner ‘service?’. Some of the prisoners are in fact innocent. Many of them have drug, alcohol and mental health problems that are not dealt with at all in prison. No wonder the prison population is growing as the gap between the rich and poor widens on a daily basis. Frankly I have no desire to be in touch with muddle NZ, I am interested in getting it right for the poorest of our society those who have fallen through the cracks (more like quake gaps these days) many of them through no fault of their own.

    • Gosh, “H”, that’s intelligent from you.

      Try working on writing out your entire pseudonym/name. “H” is a good start, but you can do much better.

      In the meantime, I’ll focus on reading Arthur Taylor’s piece. Much better written.

      • Exactly H. Nothing wrong with water. I would say though that mental health problems of prisoners deserve attention for them, their families and society generally.

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