The prison that Labour built
Watching the Kelvin Davis and Jacinda tango on the weekend current affairs shows was insightful.
While it’s nice to have a new tune to groove to, it is also horrifying that they are copying the exact same dance moves as National.
Kelvin Davis was almost ecstatic at the idea of creating new Maori prisons.
Critics might claim that seeing as he runs a Maori Charter School, Kelvin is salivating over the idea of owning a Maori prison and get a slice of the billion we now blow on prisons.
The horror was watching Labour simply attempt to shoe horn a vicious social issue like Prisons into a format that is palatable to people with slightly less dangerously violent revenge fantasies than your average National Party voter.
It is a terrible shame because if anyone can attest to the horrors of our prison system, it is Kelvin. He saw the abuse on Australian detonation camps, he was given insight into the beatings by Serco and yet rather than shy away from the punitive nightmare that our vengeance warped nation has become, here he is wanting to open up a new Maori prison as if its a new Disneyland attraction.
I agree, that we desperately need to introduce Maori tikanga into our entire social welfare system. The idea of caring holistically for the individual within a collective philosophical framework is something every single one of our social services desperately requires, but building a Maori prison only continues the racist system we have.
Prisons don’t work! They just create more damaged individuals. We have changed the parole system so that instead of serving a third of their sentence and being eligible for release, prisoners stay longer and longer inside.
The longer and longer prisoners stay inside the more and more damaged they become.
Rather than promising more prisons, Labour need to actually have some courage and acknowledge the damage locking 10 000 NZers up for profit has caused.
We need to change parole laws, dramatically increase rehabilitation programs and counter the societal drivers of crime rather than punishing the individual.
That’s not being soft on crime, it’s being intelligent on crime.
Jacinda and Kelvin backed away from the idea of standing up to SERCO when challenged on whether or not they would end private prisons, so why not end ACC owning 30% of the Wiri prison?
It was deeply disappointing to see Labour promising lots of gloss but beneath the surface it’s the exact same paint job of low expectations and even lower horizons.
I hope I’m wrong.