Prison Approaches

February 14th, 2006 at 8:44 am by David Farrar

There seem to be two distinct ways to run the criminal justice system in New Zealand.

One is to say we will let the number of prisoners dictate the number of prisonss.

The other is to say we will let the number of prisons dictate the number of prisoners.

The Government appears to be leaning towards the latter approach where the threshold for going to prisons gets raised not because it is desirable, but to save the cost of building new prisons.

Any debate on open prisons should be focused on whether it better serves the community, not on saving Dr Cullen some money by not having to build new prisons.

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54 Responses to “Prison Approaches”

  1. darren () says:

    Exactly David.
    Two things, First, Corrections have shown themselves totally incapable of building prisons without huge cost blowouts.
    Then, why not let the private sector take the risk, build the prisons and run them for a fee. That way the government need not worry about cost blowouts. It could also pay bonuses if the private operators did a better job at rehabilitating people.
    Oh yes, something siumilar was tried, and the government recently closed an Auckland prison purely on grounds of ideology.
    Second, doesn’t this fly in the face of public opinion wanting tougher sentences. If Liar-bour wanted to be soft on crime, why didn’t it have the honesty to tell us during the election camapign?
    Another grist to the mill of those people who talk of “a stolen election?

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  2. swinepearl () says:

    Execute parking meter overstayers. All more serious offenders to be burnt alive over a small fire. Saves heaps on prisons.

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  3. SB () says:

    Given the costs of running the prison system and the extreme costs of building new ones surely making better use of what we have would be a good deal?

    They are talking about short term non-violent prisoners. Open prisons have worked in some places is it not reasonable to at least consider if they would work here.

    I notice in the article that McVicar who tends to be rabid on such things gives qualified support to the suggestion.

    David do you really think buiding more and more prisons is an answer to our problems – I though you were low tax? do we stop building before or after we reach the level of the US?

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  4. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    It’s not about saving Dr Cullen some money.

    It’s about saving us some money.

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  5. Oswald Bastable () says:

    With a few provisos, the idea has merit.

    As Sensible Sentencing have stated, this should not be an option for violent or sex offenders.

    It should be for first offenders.

    It should be for short sentences OR during the parole phase of a long sentence. That is, instead of of sentence-release on parole, it should work closed prison- open prison- parole. The open prison period being served in what is now parole time (or part of)

    I have been studying the Finnish system and it does haver its merits. Points that bear remembering are:

    That this system has been around for over fifty years.Changes don’t happen overnight.

    Finns are not NZ’rs.

    They are not as ‘soft’ as may be first percieved. For instance, prisons have access to firearms- something unheard of here!
    Losses of privilages are more severe than here- in duration and the fact that they have more to lose.

    One thing I like about the Finnish model is that prisoners are expected to work and are paid market rates.

    THEN, deductions are made for board, child support, etc and they are expected to buy clothing.

    This is good rehab training for crims- that they can’t just blow their pay or dole on booze and drugs. RESPONSIBILITY!

    If this is just to cut costs, it will fail dramatically. it has, however, the potential to work.

    What chance is there that Labour would make a sucess of the scheme?

    Or will they just take on-board the bits that suit them and make matters worse?

    The track record does not point to optimisim…

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  6. Ian () says:

    Oswald Bastable:
    “…should not be an option for violent or sex offenders. It should be for first offenders.”

    Are you to have me believe that there are non-violent, non-sexual first-time offenders in NZ that actually get sent to prison???

    I’m astounded!

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  7. Oswald Bastable () says:

    Point taken ;-)

    That would be a small prison- one full of ex-MP’s, big time IRD fiddlers and tree-slayers!

    How about I ammend that line to first-time prison inmates! (or not!)

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  8. Dave Mann () says:

    Has anyone noticed the hilarious proclamations over recent years by social engineers, leftists, sociologists and maori activists about prisoner numbers? It seems to be a widely held belief among these people that “New Zealand has the second highest incarceration rate in the developed world” and therefore it follows that “we should be working harder to reduce the number of people that we put in prison”.
    Hahaha. None of these idiots also notice that New Zealand is one of the safest societies in the OECD. And why is this? It is because we put our criminal scum into specially built accommodation; prisons.
    There are currently approximately 7500 people in NZ prisons at any given time (source: wikipedia), and approximately 8,800 staff in the Police… of which about 7500 are sworn officers!!! (source: NZ Police web site).
    Oh my goodness! What a coincidence! Gosh. That means that the quantity of officers only equals that of the KNOWN and CONVICTED criminals!
    Or, to put it another way, as 7,450 of these so-called police officers are actually engaged in revenue-collecting for the government instead of properly catching criminals, this means that the remaining 50 officers are doing a fantastic job for us.
    But no, guys… for goodness sake don’t lets ask these officers to catch any more criminals lest the United Nations brands us as a pariah state that has no regard for human rights.

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  9. Tane () says:

    Out of interest David, have you actually done any research on the issue? Sentence length and method of incarceration have little to do with reoffending rates. I was impressed to see Campbell Live discuss the situation in Finland last week. Did you happen to watch that episode?

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  10. gd () says:

    But we already have all sorts of options to prison We hear case after case where before a person does time they have a list as long as your arm.The problem is we are putting ambulances in the form of prisons at the bottom of the cliff instead of putting a fence at the top.When you lower standards of accepted behaviour remove the responsibility of parents to raise their children in a acceptable manner deny an form of discipline allow children to run riot with no rules or boundaries all in the name of social engineering Guess what Forget left and right and all that crap What we need is some good old fashioned common sense.The so called liberals have had their day stuffed up and should sod off as the total failures they are.Those of us who have successfully raised children are sick to death listening to the pathetic strains of the so called experts X is the unknown quantity and spurt is a drip under pressure.If only the childless experts could hear themselves trying to tell grandma how to suck eggs and its all bullshit.I repeat It aint rocket science its common sense thats needed.The fish rots from the head and thats where our problems lie.Lack of good quality leadership at the top Lack of standards Lack of morality Lack of ethics

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  11. Jim () says:

    “Sentence length and method of incarceration have little to do with reoffending rates. ”

    Ahh, but they have a great effect on OFFENDING rates. Surely it is better to not be burgled than to be happy in the knowledge that your burglar is less likely to strike again.

    Considering how much NZ spends on prisons as a percentage of tax take, and how much time and money (not to mention distress) I spent as a result of home burglary (3 times in 10 yrs), graffiti, theft from car (twice) and theft of car (once).

    Speaking from a country with strong penalties and a crime rate far, far lower than NZ. I am probably more likely to be struck by lightning here than a victim of violent crime.

    To all of those who think that softer, gentler sentences for minor crimes will be good for NZers: for which NZers exactly?

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  12. Tane () says:

    Where is your evidence, from a comparable Western country, to show that tougher sentences actually work?

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  13. Matt Nippert () says:

    Jim,

    “Ahh, but they have a great effect on OFFENDING rates. Surely it is better to not be burgled than to be happy in the knowledge that your burglar is less likely to strike again.”

    But unless you’re proposing burglars get indefinite life sentences, I think it’s probably at least worth looking at policies that reduce offending.

    Prisoners, after they’ve served their time, will need to be released. I for one would prefer giving them the best chance to turn their life around when this happens.

    Cheers,
    Matt

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  14. David Farrar () says:

    Graeme – that only works if Dr Cullen is the sort of person who will give ourmoney back to us if he doesn’t spend it. As we have seen he isn’t and treats it all as his money to be kept by him.

    Everyone else – you have all missed the point I made (as I knew you would). I did not oppose open prisons. I said that decision making should be driven by how well they serve the community not by a poling of sending less people to prison simply because we are running out of cell space.

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  15. Oswald Bastable () says:

    No, I didn’t miss that point!

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  16. Jim () says:

    Matt,

    “But unless you’re proposing burglars get indefinite life sentences…”

    No, I do not suggest that. What I am saying is that for many crimes the offending rate is likely to be inversely proportional to the severity of the consequences if caught.

    Imagine (for the purposes of illustrating the deterrent effect) if the maximum penalty for all forms of burglary and robbery was a $5 fine and no criminal record. What do you think would happen?

    I’m sure the likelihood of imprisonment puts off many would-be criminals, and if that likelihood was 100% with no exceptions then many more would be deterred than if it was 0% for a first offence. Gamblers odds.

    I’m all for rehabilitation, but I hope that the point of deterring the first offence is not lost on those considering the topic of this thread.

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  17. Cadmus () says:

    I believe the need will be for more prisons.
    The big question is, who is a threat to society?
    You will find that in time anti terrorist laws will place the need for special prisons for these type of people both here and overseas.

    One thing for sure the justice system has failed NZ. I think the quicker we adopt a Scandinavian approach the better.

    After all our present prison system is just a lock them up and let them out again attitude with nothing much in between. But I suppose that is the mentality that suits someone like Garth Mc Vicar.

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  18. Matt Nippert () says:

    Jim,

    The deterrence argument is an interesting one, taken from economics. Unfortunately, rational economic man only exists in textbooks.

    The deterrent effect, often cited by law and order campaigners, was found to have a weak influence and, even then, only with theft, car and fraud offences. David Riley, director of psychological services at the Department of Corrections says, “There are now more than 23,000 studies showing that punishment is one of the least effective ways of influencing human behaviour.”

    http://listener.co.nz/default,4030.sm

    This is caused by:
    -The strong link between alcohol and violence offences (rational thought, including that of consequences, is thrown out the window along with sobriety).
    -Consequences are weighed against benefits, and only property crimes like theft and fraud have any obvious benefits.
    -People are risk-takers, and if there is only a one percent chance of getting caught, criminals tend to disregard any penalties.

    There are other reason, and law and order is a hugely complex policy area. I hope O’Connor’s suggestion (and very canny of him to drag along McVicar) sparks a useful debate.

    You could do a lot of good in this area with the money presently being plunged into prison construction: education, more community policing, rehabilitation programs.

    The experiment we’ve been running the last six years hasn’t really worked. Although it still seems fashionable to campaign that it has – or hasn’t gone far enough.

    Cheers,
    Matt

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  19. SB () says:

    “Ahh, but they have a great effect on OFFENDING rates”

    Do you have any evidence that this is true? Crims tend to think that they will get away with what they are doing so the punishment is not considered.

    When people make statements like that I am reminded that when Murder was a capital offence people were still killed.

    I would also wonder if you hit the law of diminishing returns applies here is 15 years really more of a deterent than 10 or 5 ?

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  20. tim barclay () says:

    O’Connor has indentified the very hign rates of incarceration in this country and asks the question why?? In my experience with the lower level offending prison is the last resort i.e you do not go to prison for drink drvive unless you have 4 previous convictions. Yes 4!!! Burglary is a little tighter you get one chance and then prison. Shoplifting probably about 10 previous convictions , assaults 3 or 4 before you go to prison. So for lower level offending (which is what O’Connor is talking about) we are talking about repeat offenders who have failed to respond to community based sentencing.

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  21. culma () says:

    I find it absurd that some clowns would even suggest we adopt the scandinavian example!

    What I want to know is what percentage of the prison population in Scandinavia are there for violent crime?
    We already have the Scandinavian system in place, actually more lenient, NZ’s worst drink driver only went to prison after his 32 conviction? THATS LEANIENT, No one in this country goes away on a first offence. The victims get sweet FA, as far as support and compensation while offenders get free representation and if the crime dictates time then a single bed room with all the mod cons.

    The other thing that Scandinavia doesn’t have that NZ does is the mix of cultures (shall we call it) this just throws acceptability into a spin. Where European values and Pacific values collide.
    What percentage of offenders are in NZ prisons for violent and repeat violent crimes?
    There seem to be so many people re offending while on parole or waiting to be sentenced. It is not until you confronted by these scum that your opinions change.

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  22. Oswald Bastable () says:

    I think we need flexibility.

    At one end of the scale fine, community service, open prison. At the other end, a dark, nasty hole where recidivists are thrown to rot.

    Also we need judged that make the punishment fit the crime and who are more for justice than fine points of law. It wouldn’t be a bad thing for judges to be elected officals, just like local politicians.

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  23. Emmess () says:

    Scandanavia has some of the highest crime rates in the developed world.
    We should be following Americas example from the 90s which significantly lowered crime rates to much lower levels most other developed countries from a very high base.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/344eyaxi.asp?pg=1

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  24. mara () says:

    Culma… “it is not until you are confronted by these scum,that your opinions change”. To me this comment will not achieve any positive thing at all,but speaks volumes for the victims of crime who are increasingly maddened by what they see as ongoing,ineffective Govt. policy on crime and punishment. To the little arse-wipes who continually ransack my car and most recently stole my life support pack (yeah flashed up first aid),I think with unseemly fondness,of situations involving a fast car,a tree and the only helping attendee (ME) having no gear>

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  25. baxter () says:

    O’Conner instead of visiting European Countries for enlightenment should instead have visited countries in our hemisphere. As we have been told we are part of Asia, most of our immigrants are from Asia. The rate of recidivism is much less in China,Singapore,and Indonesia to name but three. The cost of imprisoment is also substantially less per inmate in these countries and I am sure the fact finding team would have learnt a lot. These European Nations have their own versions of Family Group conferences,Restorative Justice,Community Service,slap on wrist with wet bus ticket…The only thing they have in common with New Zealand is Abject failure.By the time they qualify for prison there is no such thing as a low level offender in this country.

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  26. Geoffm () says:

    Regarding the reduction in offending via prison sentences…
    Around 80% of offenders have previous form, and most of those reoffend within 2 years of release. A significant numebr reoffend within 1 year of release. This is from memory, rather than looking up the info. On that basis, perhaps yo ucould explain how people can offend while locked up breaking rocks?
    G

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  27. Dave Mann () says:

    In my view, there will always be people who will commit crimes. It is simply unrealistic to expect everybody to be model citizens all the time.
    That having been said, I think I know how to significantly reduce reoffending rates:

    1) Institute an extremely harsh regime in prisons – this means extensive use of corporal punishment and solitary confinement for misbehaviour, 6-day hard labour for all inmates and crap food that feeds them enough to sustain life and allow them to work, but not much more. Reduce visiting rights and cut off all conjugal visits and touching. Delete all TV, videos, cellphones and most recreation.
    Make prison such a living hell that nobody would ever want to be put through it again.

    2) For first time violent offenders and second-time property offenders, make the punishment a MANDATORY one month sentence. Force them to see what they will be letting themselves in for should they continue to offend.

    3) Follow up the above offenders upon release with a thorough programme of oversight, probation, and rehabilitation to give them every opportunity to become useful members of society. Don’t just let them out onto the street with zero resources.

    4) If they then continue to reoffend, simply lock them away for long periods. These will be the hard core sociopaths on whom nothing will work, but there will not be an overcrowding problem because the recidivism rate will be so (relatively) low, with the majority having got the message the first time around.

    5) Increase Police numbers and, more importantly, the quality of recruits. Pay them well and resource them well to discourage any temptations of corruption.

    This will, I believe, fix the problem of repeat offending; but it would not work without (1) above, because, unless prison is a humiliating, dangerous and terrifying experience, it will not act as a deterrent, but will continue to be just a training ground.

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  28. tim barclay () says:

    Do not think so Matt. The point I am making is people get many many chances for lower level offending before Prison is imposed, so how much more lenient is O’Connor asking Judges to be. I agree bail is much more difficult these days resulting is more remand prisoners. But just what is O’Connor asking Judges to do – never imprison for Drink driving, shoplifting, minor assaults. I think that is where his thinking is heading and that is the point I am making. I think you need to think before you leap into print my friend. I do know quite a bit more than you about all this.

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  29. Matt Nippert () says:

    Emmess,

    “We should be following Americas example from the 90s which significantly lowered crime rates to much lower levels most other developed countries from a very high base.”

    Ok. Let’s crunch the numbers. The New Zealand rate of imprisonment is 181 per 10,000, the US 724. The current NZ inmate population is 7524.

    To meet the US rate New Zealand would have to imprison 22,739 more people – slightly more than the population of Masterton.

    The increase in the prison population 1995-2006 has required five new prison to be built to house around 3,000 new inmates. This has cost $620m in capital costs, and $120m p.a. in operating costs.

    To emulate the US model the cost (roughly, this is based on extrapolations) would be:
    $4.7b in capital costs.
    $910m p.a. in operating cost.
    This is in addition to current corrections spending.

    Buy, bye surplus. And any hope of tax cuts.

    Seriously, the US model for incarceration is insane. Emulating it would be fiscal suicide.

    Cheers,
    Matt

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  30. Matt Nippert () says:

    Actually, double-checking some old stories on the Corrections department, it looks as though my estimates are out by a factor of two.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3562026

    Let’s say a round $10b in capital, and $2b a year.

    Rising imprisonment levels have come at a formidable price. The Corrections Department budget increased 72 per cent between 1997 and 2004 from $361m to $620m. It is likely to hit close to $900m in 2006 with four new prisons being built in Northland, the Waikato, South Auckland and Otago. They will collectively house 1400 inmates.

    Construction has been budgeted at $600m and the facilities are expected to cost $120m a year to operate.

    But the really killer quote is from Swain, who in early 2004 said:

    But Swain maintains the system is not in danger of collapse. “There is the ability to manage in the short term. For example in low-security areas we can do more double-bunking in cells.”

    Short-term? Ahem.

    Cheers,
    Matt

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  31. swinepearl () says:

    Build more prisons. Budget blowout!!

    Stop building more prisons. Liar-bour going soft on crime!

    gnats blowing smoke out both sides of their mouth at the same time again.

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  32. mj () says:

    after taking a little time to read your comments mr mann I’d have it at a guess that you spend most of your life under the bed,terrified,waiting for the next”crim”to victimise you.Wake up fella,we can’t afford to keep locking people up,releasing them with 350 bucks worth of”release to freedom” money,no job,no skills, no contacts,except the ones made in prison, and no real prospects.Prison is a mixture of boredom and loneliness and the real terror of being released into a world that has changed so much in only a few years that,to be honest,you have no fucking idea what the fuck is going on.There just has to be a better way and with your way fella you really will have a reason to cower under the bed.

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  33. Emmess () says:

    Ok. Let’s crunch the numbers. The New Zealand rate of imprisonment is 181 per 10,000, the US 724. The current NZ inmate population is 7524.

    To meet the US rate New Zealand would have to imprison 22,739 more people – slightly more than the population of Masterton.

    First of all
    The starting position of NZ now compared to America say in the late 80s/early 90s is not as bad.
    So the prison population would not swell up as much as you suggest

    To emulate the US model the cost (roughly, this is based on extrapolations) would be:
    $4.7b in capital costs.
    $910m p.a. in operating cost.
    This is in addition to current corrections spending.

    So lets say your 4.7 billion is correct, spread over 15 years thats 300 million per year, that peanuts, a small price to pay for a dramatic decrease in crime
    There is absolutely no reason why it should cost $170 a day to look after prisoners. If they were made to work, the cost per prisoner would be cut dramatically.

    Besides socialists like John Campbell don’t seem to mind about the cost of any other guvamint programs, why do the care so much about the cost of prisons?

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  34. Steven () says:

    Its an interesting concept where “repaying your debt to society” means costing society $50k per annum and actually not repaying any money to either the system or to the victim. Instead of locking people away in criminal universities perhaps we might focus a little more on actual repayment and restitution?

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  35. uknz05 () says:

    Dave Mann: You said: “1) Institute an extremely harsh regime in prisons …
    Make prison such a living hell that nobody would ever want to be put through it again.”

    The danger in this is that the prisoners will develop such a hatred of the society which put them through this that even moderate criminals come out as sociopaths.

    You will not be solving the problems which caused the crime but simply exacting a harsh punishment. In the end this kind of treatment would probably raise recidivism.

    I thought the idea of prison was rehabilitate where possible, lock away where impossible…

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  36. Matt Nippert () says:

    Emmess,

    That’s the spirit: Think Big House!

    Cheers,
    Matt

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  37. Dave Mann () says:

    uknz05 and mj: I didn’t advocate turning criminals into sociopaths, nor did I saywe should continue throw them out onto the street with ‘no job, no skills, no contacts’.
    Read my comment. I only advocate harsh prisons for repeat offenders and I made the point that upon release they should be suported thoroughly.
    The sociopaths will be sociopaths independent of what society does – these people should simply be put away where they can’t do any damage.

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  38. culma () says:

    Mara – maybe it wasn’t the best way to describe those that fall into that category, but yes it is born out of absolute frustration.

    I see prisons in the same light as the insurances, pain in the ass but I have to have them. The figures above if correct at 7500 imprisoned, are the insurance. These people can’t live along side the rest of us without interfering with others property and lives, so they end up with like minded people INSIDE, problem solved.

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  39. Cadmus () says:

    Culma said,

    “The other thing that Scandinavia doesn’t have that NZ does is the mix of cultures”

    I take it you haven’t been to Scandinavia in some time Culma?

    Lets face it what we have now doesn’t work!

    So from what I read your saying.
    All NZ ers are basically uncivilized scum, and should be treated as such.
    Not like the more sophisticated peoples of Northern Europe?

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  40. culma () says:

    Cadmus – You can interpret the things I have written in any way, shape or form you want.
    It would be easy to jump in feet and all but that is where I think you are trying to take this, so thanks but no thanks.

    If you engage your brain before punching the key’s my good man you may be more easily understood, but continue doing what you are doing, and all you do is identify the typical Winston Peters supporter as a raving lunitic!

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  41. Brian Smaller () says:

    Ever been the victim of crime, mj? Ever come home to find your house ransacked? Gone out to get soemthing from the car to find it gone, and along with it your way of getting to work? Ever been attacked by thugs on the street because they wanted your jacket?

    I am all for giving someone a chance, but only one. People here are on the streets with 50, 60, 90, 200 or more convictions. We must have the most lenient justice system in the world. Here in NZ a list of convictions as long as your arm is the norm for most of our crims. Put them on Pitt Island to form the society they want to live in.

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  42. culma () says:

    Brian Smaller – Pitt island? I was thinking more WHITE island.

    You keep talking like that you’ll get voted into parliament (whether you like it or not).

    You are right, the feeling when you walk in and see the things you have worked hard to afford, the gifts that have special meaning and the things that can’t be replaced gone, I can’t describe it.
    Here is the problem solver “Dobermanns”, loving household pets, but after the sun goes down, best security guard money can buy, I have 3 of them.

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  43. Cadmus () says:

    Culma, you know it’s illegal for your Dobermanns to attack people entering your property. Your pets could be put down if they attack. I doubt you would want that to happen, better still put a muzzel on your dogs most of the time, especially at night to avoid attacks. The las6t thing we want to see is you in the news being prosecuted.

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  44. culma () says:

    Cadmus – as I said to a Police officer a few years ago, If anyone broke into my home they won’t have to worry about the dogs, because the dogs would be behind me. The other thing is that if someone was stupid enough to enter my house with these guys on the other side of the door, they fall into the category of OXYEN THIEVES.

    In talking about dogs, (which my wife and I breed) you have touched on an area that is relevant to this discussion. Blood lines and the nurturing from birth till death.
    Some animals have bad blood, humans are no different, it takes a certain type of person to kill in cold blood, and some of the same attributes can be seen in wayward animals. Unfortunately we live in a society where dip shit animal owners get community service, when the animal pays the ultimate price for doing as it is directed! (Pit bull attacking police officers Auckland Nov 2005)(dogs die, stupid bitch gets 300 hours community service). Same with bad blood in people, some times the idavidual isn’t worth saving, sad but true.

    No Cadmus my dogs wouldn’t be destroyed if they attacked a burglar entering my home sorry!

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  45. Cadmus () says:

    Culma, I think you would find otherwise?

    BTW, I like animals and don’t like to see them used to gratify the needs of others. I agree with what you say on that issue.

    Best of luck with your dog breeding business.

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  46. Tane () says:

    Culma:

    What’s an OXYEN thief?

    I wouldn’worry too much about them anyway. You sound like you’re obviously manly enough to be able to deal with any threat. Gee, I wish I were as manly as you.

    Don’t you think it’s funny that the more macho someone claims to be, the more they seem to want to lock ‘em up and throw away the key?

    Tane.

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  47. culma () says:

    Cadmus – Dobermann’s are a passion, those that breed them as a business I personally despise.

    Tane – when you grow up you might be big strong macho fellow, time will tell.

    Oxygen Thief – self explanatory

    As I said earlier – prison I look at as an insurance policy, pain in the ass, but a necessary. Those that can’t live in a society without interfering with others property and or family, don’t deserve to stay, and should be put with those that are like minded.

    Not typing to fast for you am I, wouldn’t want you to lose track.

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  48. trout () says:

    Cadmus;
    NZ Jails are great.
    If you serve your sentence at home, you miss out on all the sodomy and beatings?

    Can’t have that now can we.

    Who are you going to vote For when NZ Fist Disappers next election?

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  49. Cadmus () says:

    Trout, It won’t really worry me, as long as Brash/Hide are out of the parliament I don’t really care.
    I persopnally believe the Rt Hon will crack the 5% barrier, he is the comeback champ.

    I don’t care if National win, as long as the Rt Hon is the peoples handbrake. At the moment Im for Labour & Associates they are doing a great job, for all of us, give them some credit.

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  50. culma () says:

    Trout – I can see a few quite a few people wanting to have a small wager with Cadmus leading up to the next election as to whether Winston Peters will make it back into parliament or end up selling second hand jap import cars in south Auckland, and please I mean no disrespect to those car dealers in south Auckland!

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  51. baxter () says:

    Culma…South Auckland secondhand Jap car salesmen are far too honourable a breed to accept Winston to their midst…Far more likely he will end up in South Auckland as an Immigration Consultant possibly in association with his co-alition mate Taito Field.

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  52. culma () says:

    Baxter – between the 2 of them they can organise holiday trips to Samoa for tradesmen and their families, building finishing trades only need apply.

    As I said I wasn’t trying to cast dispersion on second hand car dealers in south Auckland.

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  53. Paula Weir () says:

    I don’t know about approaches to prisons, but they need to organise the court system so that if you are a victim of a crime, you do not have to sight or associate with the perpetrator their supporters, and enablers.
    The District Court is a repulsive, and archaiac place at best, and after having the dubious pleasure of waiting dressed up to the nines with a briefcase in one of the allocated waiting areas I was verbally attacked by one of life’s more colourful characters because she was sure I was a lawyer.
    After her tirade I reprimanded her with words far beyond her meagre vocabulary.
    The amount of children hanging around the foyers is saddening as they are exposed to all sorts of inappropriate behaviour and language.
    I do not know what the answer is, but the amount of repeat offenders would indicate we are a long way from finding it.

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