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.