Kelvin Davis – caught between a rock and a mega prison

By   /   July 4, 2018  /   3 Comments

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Currently 60% of those released reoffend within 2 years. That is an abysmal failure, the time to move away from this punitive experiment is now.

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis changes inmate forecast comments

Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis has done a swift backtrack saying he was aware of the latest prison population projections when the government made the Waikeria Prison decision.

Mr Davis had earlier told Morning Report he “hadn’t seen the forecasts” when he last month announced the decision to build a 600-bed facility at Waikeria instead of a much bigger one.

New Zealand’s prison population is being forecast to rise by more than 4000 over the next decade, according to a Ministry of Justice report. That would take the number of inmates to 14,400 by 2027.

The number of prisoners being held on remand – those awaiting trial or being held prior to sentencing – was predicted to almost double over that period to 5400. The report says that’s because of an increase in the length of time people are spending waiting for their case to go to trial.

Kelvin is caught between a rock and a mega prison.

The poorly thought out Waikeria prison has pleased no one and ended up doing nothing.

Labour couldn’t get their heads around how they would sell the new prison.

They thought if they green lit the mega prison, it would fly in the face of all their criticism of the incarceration industry.

So they produced a tiny double bunked 500 bed prison with an even smaller 100 mental health beds for an eye watering $750million.

The original 2500 bed prison was going to cost $1billion.

It now turns out the punitive nature of our underfunded judicial system will see those on remand jump to 5400 inside prison.

Remember, they haven’t been found guilty.

The surging prison numbers mean the new 500 bed prison is already full many times over before it opens.

What the Government SHOULD have done, is show some actual vision.

They should have demanded a new plan for the 2500 bed prison that created a safe environment where damaged people could get healed.

Why not build a prison for the 21st Century? Why not see the loss of liberty as the punishment and focus on providing a space where prisoners could heal, learn skills and leave incarceration as better human beings?

Currently 60% of those released reoffend within 2 years. That is an abysmal failure, the time to move away from this punitive experiment is now.

Building a prison that seeks to heal the damaged men and women exploding through our communities would send a clear message this new Government was prepared to walk the talk on prison reform.

That would have taken political courage.

Instead, we have this bullshit 500 bed prison that is costing us only $250million less than the 2500 bed option.

I mean, come on. I get everyone wasn’t expecting to actually get into Government, but you’ve been there longer than 6 months, when will Labour start stepping up?

This could have been a victory, instead it will become a screaming reminder that Labour didn’t really think this through.

Here’s what will happen.

The prisons will meet maximum capacity. Police holding cells will start being used, military prison cells will then become used, and then there will be some prison riot erupt somewhere in this double bunked cramp, underfunded, grotesquely expensive social policy of spite, and only then will we be forced to do something.

There is no justice here, just poorly thought out vengeance.


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  1. Michelle says:

    Put more funding into sentencing now for those on remand utilise the Maori marae justice systems for some lower level offenders. Utilise some of the hnz flats/blocks to help with accommodation issues. Released prisoner to be released under conditions including assigning them to a Maori community hauora or other social service providers including church groups all these groups can provide wrap around services and programmes to deal with the root cause of them offending and recidivism and the break down of some of their whanau. Sometimes many return to unsavoury environments and that may be their own whanau or friends this need to end and be fixed we may not be able to fix the whanau/friends because it maybe entrenched and they lack good leadership but we can start with the individual and show them and give them the tools and strength so they can see what is a good environment when they don’t have one to go to. For many this is the case and it is not easy but we need to work hard to get those prison rates down now not sit and wait.

    • Observer Tokoroa says:

      Well Said – Michelle !

      Your Call is so worthwhile. Lets make the next 10 years a Mantra – “Keep our Brothers free of Prison”! “Bring our Brothers home from Prison”

      Beam the Mantra on every Media. Repeat it within every Community. Within every Home, Every Church, Every School, Every College, Rugby Ground, Every Sports Ground – Cinema, Airport, Major Shopping Centre.

      And do as Michelle has written – don’t just dump the Prisoner alone and unattended. Bring him home to genuine Support. ongoing.

  2. countryboy says:

    It’s time to re nationalise our assets, purge NZ/AO of the foreign owned banks and in so doing, write off all mortgages.
    Then? Conduct an inquiry into where our money has been going. Specifically, into whom’s pockets. And get it back.
    We need radicle approaches to terrible problems foisted upon us by the banks and their political cronies in deep state mode within our country, a country where foreign banks make more money out of us per capita than any other market, both domestic and foreign, they parasitise. And they do that by using the MSM to instil in us anxiety which leads to despair which leads rage which leads to societal dysfunction. It’s psychology 101, to use an american term.
    Banking. A criminal enterprise
    Mike Treen,

    We need a breather to regroup and re learn to love what’s so wonderful about living in a country as resource rich as NZ/AO. Not haunted by debt, bullied by Suits driving BMW’s and mortified by our impoverished and street living extended whanau. And remember! It could be any one of us next.

    Now. Ask yourself? Do you see any evidence of any of the above, albeit radicle actions being politically advanced?
    They took our stuff and things then let the banks off their leashes at us easily enough and yet the above,polarising opposite, will be considered preposterous.
    Isn’t that a funny old thing?

Authorised by Martyn Bradbury, The Editor, TheDailyBlog,