Everything wrong with NZ in one Stuff.co.nz comments section: Why I hate corrections & so will you when you understand the reality behind the sudden decrease in Prison population


I despise Corrections, I really do.

The joy with which they seem to relish making prisoners in their care suffer rivals only the sadism of WINZ staff or the ‘just following orders’ spite of Housing NZ during the meth hysteria, but to truly want to put your fist through the wall in blind frustration at the needlessly cruel counter productive fuckwittery of Corrections, consider why there has been such a huge and sudden reduction in the prisoner population.

After five years of continually climbing, the number of prisoners is finally dropping
The prison population has dipped below 10,000 for the first time in more than two years.

Since 1987, the number of people locked up had tripled – a result of successive tough law-and-order policies. Politicians have been slow to soften their stance, and change those laws, even though the system was creaking under the pressure.

So the milestone – achieved quietly on Thursday with 9920 inmates behind bars – is the result of an intensive, internal effort by the Department of Corrections.

Looks good eh, 600 prisoners suddenly not in prison, wow.

So, how did that happen again?

Two fronts, bail and parole.

The tough on law bullshit rhetoric of the National Party changed the bail conditions in 2013 and required prisoners to apply for ebail in writing, but the problem the National Party and Corrections didn’t anticipate was that 70% of prisoners are illiterate so they couldn’t actually write the fucking letters to apply for the bail!

No one seemed to notice this until the prison population bloated to unprecedented levels and after scratching their heads for a bit, suddenly realised (once Labour got in) that with most prisoners being too illiterate to write letters for bail, they in fact needed to provide services to help the prisoners write the bail application letters.

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I know you will be shaking your head in utter disbelief at the insanity of that, but this is one of the actual reasons the prison population is shrinking, and why it needlessly bloated.

The other reason the prison population is shrinking (and needlessly bloated) was the parole situation.

Parole won’t be granted if the prisoners haven’t completed rehabilitation programs, and you guessed it, the fucking prisons wren’t providing the rehabilitation programmes.

Prisoners can be released after a third of their sentence IF they complete these programs, but because corrections weren’t providing them, prisoners ended up doing their entire sentence.

That’s men, locked up 20 hours a day for years on end with no rehabilitation then being released with no social skills back into a community that hates them with bugger all support and then we wonder why such huge numbers reoffend within 2 years of being released.

What was National’s response when they realised they had inadvertently started producing men more damaged coming out than when they went in? Why the National Government passed a law allowing for Corrections to endlessly monitor these men and keep them in housing permanently based on prison land.

Endless imprisonment past the sentence because the original time in prison had been so damaging an experience.

Over 20 years  the cost of our prisons has jumped from $382 million a year to $1.3 billion a year.

This needless suffering and cost to let NZers feel the taste of vengeance speaks ill of us as a tiny people with an insatiable thirst for moralistic outrage.

Look at this comment from the dreaded Stuff.co.nz comments section. The story is about the releasing of  a prisoner early from prison so he could die at home with his family.

Look at the thumbs up and thumbs down to the story in the comments section

We are a bitter, petty folk who prefer counter productive policy to success if that success requires kindness and compassion.

Toxic victimhood has never been so venomous or pointless.



  1. Thanks Bomber I have always thought that people might change their mind when it sinks in that it costs $100,000 a year to keep some one in prison. But no. We are a foolish nation who have over the years – with the help of various governments – become extremely vindictive!

    Most of the prisoners could and should be out in the community doing useful things.

  2. Wowser!

    But you’ve got to admit much of that was brought on by elements of the copy cat neo con National party. What others call RWNJ’s( Right wing nut jobs ) . 1.3 billion. Think of that next time you think of Steven Joyce.

    Its amazing how thick ( or negligent ) they are actually were to neither provide services for writing letters for bail application or rehabilitation programmes .

    That is just amazing.

    That was, … the caliber of leadership under which we as a nation lived and suffered for 9 years,… almost a decade of our lives. Corrupt, ignorant, self serving and arrogant.


    Truly amazing.

  3. Tell us again why we’re waiting for kids to be cooped up in prison so we can help them learn at least one or two of the Three Rs?

    Why it is that many ‘kids in poverty’ no books at home, etc etc etc manage to absorb, however poorly, those basics and go on to get paid work without ariving via the crim path? Become decent and solid parents, too.

    And don’t bang on about ‘race’ because all you’re doing is insulting the many Maori and other Polynesians who get along just fine being bilingual or better, and holding down jobs, and being well-educated without feeling any cultural pull to being a ratbag.

    Succeeding in the ‘mainstream’ is no indicator at all of ‘being Uncle Tom’. More a capacity and flexibility to sustain a personal/ethnic culture and fit in where it makes economic sense to do so. It never has to be a win-lose situation. Ask any minority group.

    Could we also know how many recent refugees from seriously awful and life-threatening circumstances, even (gasp!) conquest and colonisation, end up in clink in this country?

    Instead of building relentless highways perhaps and just maybe we could revise and restart the health services and school support services. Train enough people so we don’t have to rob other countries. Improve access and delivery. (Most of it is so nineteenth century – including the attitudes.)

    It certainly won’t help those who have been steeped in the ‘other culture’ of anti-social action. They’ll either come to wake-up on their own or die before.

    It’s the others; weak yet willing. They’d be decent enough in the right environment. Catch them early – and buffer the rest of us against the toxic remnant.

    Ahead of any “outrage” – that tiny toxic social segment is colour-blind. They’re a natural part of the ways humans are – regardless of any narratives to the contrary. You’ll find them in every population and group of people. Dangerous and self-serving.

    BTW that “outrage” is a waste of energy. It over-simplifies and distorts the information. It creates defensiveness instead of exploration. Be great if it died from neglect. There are better things to do to help the changes we need.

    • 70% of prisoners are illiterate, 84% were unemployed at the time of the crime and Do you know how many prisoners inside also have head injuries and how many have mental health issues Andrea?

      • Thanks for pointing that out Bomber also the majority of Maori are incarcerated for unpaid fines,and drug offenses. There no fully funded literacy programmes for our prisons. It is all volunteers. Those few paid positions are always short term. Our Misuse of Drugs Act was written in 1975!!!!!It is so hopelessly outdated with over the top penalties that the legalisation of cannabis would free at least a quarter of the current prison population. The penalty for drug importation is higher than for child sex abuse! The law commission regularly recommends updates of our crimes legislation. Our Parliament sits on it’s hands and brings in fuckwitted laws like making synthetic cannabis a Class A drug. This country has been run by born to rule incompetents who wouldn’t last a nano second in the global workforce, for far too long.

        • “Thanks for pointing that out Bomber also the majority of Maori are incarcerated for unpaid fines,and drug offenses”

          Are you for real Shona. If you are going to contribute at least do some research. Anyone, Maori or otherwise who is in for drug offences are there because they have committed SERIOUS drug offences, (Dealing importation manufacturing) not because as Bomber would have you believe, for possession of a joint.

          And unpaid fines?? Give me a break, what utter fabricated nonsense!

          • Sorry Gary your ignorance is showing. young Maori males in Northland predominate in the unpaid fines stats. They are sent to gaol more frequently than pakeha. Poor often illiterate due to glue ear not being picked up they live in poverty. Not unskilled but from rural areas that are seriously deprived. There is little opportunity . Their introduction to serious offending happens on their first trip to prison. Gang membership invariably follows. I have lived in a remote area of Northland for most of my life and I have first hand knowledge of this FACT as well as statistics to back up what I am saying. The elitist racism of Judges in the Whangarei court is well known .One fact I did exaggerate is the incarceration rate for cannabis . it is only 22% of the prison population.unlike you Gary I live in area that is predominately Maori. So I can see the Maori life experience through both eyes. Up yours!

          • Gary it is you who should do some research. People are still going to prison for growing a bit of cannabis and supplying small amounts of cannabis so Shona makes a valid point in that regard. Talking about utter fabricated nonsense – where does Bomber say that people are in prison for possession of a joint?

          • Hi Gary people do go to prison for unpaid fines. How do I know I was a probation officer for neigh on 30 years. People with mental health and literacy problems also end up inside. The saga just goes on an on its bloody repetitive

          • Hey Gary the only person who hasn’t contributed to this discussion is you. Your comments are factually incorrect and ill-informed – the sign of an ignorant and washed up individual.

            Did you know that people are still going to jail for cannabis under the archaic and draconian Misuse of Drugs Act which came into force in 1975 – 53 years ago? And yes, people still go to jail for not paying their fines.

          • Hello Gary I will refrain from stooping to the level at which you operate to deliver your unwarranted criticism to Shona. She is spot on whereas you fall way short of the mark.

            What would be interesting to know is what is your experience in this area and what is the factual basis for your comments?

  4. @Gary yes unpaid fines are the single biggest reason for young Maori males going to prison initially. Illiteracy from glue ear compounded by lack of transport and being unable to attend court hearings on time invoke arrest warrants which put so many young men into the crime university that is our prison system where pledging allegiance to one group is the only path for survival even if it is only for a few months.22% of our prison population are there for cannabis offenses. I have lived in Northland in a remote rural are for most of my life . I have taught in schools up here and run community programs .The area I live is predominately Maori. I have the stats to back up what I am saying. It is Prison that induces the gang lifestyle. It is judgement from racist judiciary that sends Maori to jail. oOur judges are overwhelmingly Elitist out of touch ignorant overpaid old men who have zero understanding of why so many Maori are so lost.

    • Shona . I guess it doesnt matter to you that these people who dont pay fines have already broken the law to be fined and then snub the law and dont pay these fines . what would you do . sing them a lullaby .

  5. I enjoy your drastic condemnations of us, Martyn. Excoriates hair from places that need removal. Burning makes me feel lively. But I grew up with 3 brothers.

    Much regard.

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