This is on Bill English and the National Party
The astounding decision last week by the National Government to quietly dump reoffending rates as a measurement of the private prison empire they have built was another sad moment in the failed neoliberal social experiments the National Party champion…
The goalposts have been shifted for the Government when it comes to crime reduction.
As part of its new set of Better Public Service targets, announced on Tuesday, it has removed its target to reduce reoffending. It originally aimed to have reoffending reduced by a quarter by June this year, but only managed to bring it down by 4.5 percent.
…the National Government who had ACC invest in 30% of the private prison at Wiri and who brought private prisons into NZ and who had to remove Mt Eden from their control after corruption and violence issues have now quietly removed the reoffending rates as a measure of success???
What a gutless back down!
National set 25% as their target to reduce reoffending and could barely get 4.5%. They sold the neoliberal private prison reforms on how amazing they would be to reduce reoffending, the truth is they have failed abysmally and the National Government will now hide the stats so NZers can’t see how much of a failure they have created.
So who is to blame for this counter-productive cluster fuck?
Let’s start with the Corporate Mainstream media who love to manipulate your sense of anger and injustice with their ‘if it bleeds it leads’ mentality. Their crime porn myopic news headlines are designed to stoke emotion, anger and sense of injustice all for ratings.
That anger and emotion quickly gets manipulated by ‘get-tough-on-crime’ politicians who sell suffering and draconian prison time as the solution. We, the voters, get sucked into this vortex of media-politics and elect anyone who promises to punish the people we are media trained to fear and hate.
That leads to anger and hate seeping into social policy, that leads to a private prison system who send the wrong market signals to the State agencies invested in them.
We have allowed knee-jerk legislation that seeks to hurt to replace well thought out social policy.
The bail law changes which mean prisoners are spending longer and longer amounts of time in our damaged prison system. The lack of rehabilitation programs, the tying of the limited rehabilitation programs they do have to parole eligibility, the tying of prison labour to parole eligibility, the tying of an admission of guilt to parole eligibility.
All of these factors have combined to see a prison system that is releasing prisoners far more damaged than when they went into prison.
This is beyond counter-productive, it’s a kind of insanity.