Another case for three strikes

August 13th, 2011 at 8:21 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Convicted killer John Hone Haerewa assaulted two women he had relationships with before he battered Allison McPhee to death.

Before Haerewa’s trial, which ended in a verdict of guilty of murder on Thursday, prosecutors had asked for the jury to hear evidence of his “propensity” for violence against women.

However, a judge in the High Court at Wellington ruled that the two earlier incidents – in March 1994 and January 2006 – did not have enough similarity with the attack on Ms McPhee, 42, to be a kind of “trademark” that would help the jury decide if he was the killer. …

In the two previous incidents he had also targeted the victims’ heads using what was to hand as weapons.

In the first case he broke the plastic handle of a spade on a woman. She was said to have suffered extensive injuries.

The second woman was injured when he slapped her repeatedly and attacked her with a trowel.

This strikes me as the kind of case the law would be good for. If the two previous convictions counted as strikes, he would now be facing his third strike of life without parole.

And while one can’t be definite, it is possible that if his 2006 conviction was a second strike then he may not have been released from jail by 2010 when he killed McPhee.

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95 Responses to “Another case for three strikes”

  1. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    This was a natural selection crime two gone for the price of one.
    Three strikes is not needed.

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  2. Scott Chris (5,981 comments) says:

    DPF says “This strikes me as the kind of case the three strikes law would be good for”

    It would be nice to be able to selectively apply this law, but prescriptive measures such as this are inflexible by nature, and undermine our judges discretion.

    It comes down to whether or not judges are sufficiently empowered to impose the appropriate sentence. ‘Three strikes’ is populist rubbish.

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  3. Michael (899 comments) says:

    Judges must apply 3 strikes unless it is “manifestly unjust” to do so. So, if they apply it in cirumstances were it is no unjust then the Crown will be able to appeal.

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  4. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Scott Chris

    The judiciary were always empowered by legislation to impose severe sentences where they were warranted. They didn’t & were perceived as being overly lenient in the sentences they gave out. That was the genesis of the “three strikes law”.

    They felt they were above the people who employ them & the curbing of their discretionary powers was the price that had to be paid.

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  5. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    Who would have thought that someone who uses a weapon against someone’s head would offend again, and eventually kill someone!

    I hope the judges of his first and second trials find it hard to sleep at night.

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  6. Viking2 (11,283 comments) says:

    And this Judge will hand him a slap with a wet bus ticket. Harewa should never be released into a community again. end of story.

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  7. Right of way is Way of Right (1,129 comments) says:

    @Pauleastbay.

    Really mate, that’s a little too far. Two for the price of one?

    Allison McPhee may not have been a perfect human being, but she tried to to the best with what limited capabilities she had. She was deficient in many areas, but she did not deserve to be brutally murdered.

    I knew Allison when we attended school together at Hutt Intermediate in 1979 and 1980. To say she didn’t fit in was an understatement of huge proportions, and she expereinced more than her fair share of teasing. In retrospect, she should not have been placed in mainstream school to sink or swim.

    But saying someone deserves to die because she isn’t capable? Shame!

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  8. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    It sounds to me as though he will qualify for 17 years minimum. And remember that with life imprisonment release is not automatic after the minimum period. Some will never be released.

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  9. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    No one ever answers me when I ask about the costs involved in this law..I am not saying certain people do not need to be detained indefinitly , I am simply asking how can a BROKE country possibly afford such a law? This law and the war on drugs has lead to enormous prison populations..prisons are expensive..Broke USA , is now saying it can’t afford to keep schools open in certain areas. Surely we already had the means to keep people in prison for long periods..preventiive detention , parole boards etc.
    The passing of this law was simply political posturing but I return to my original question; who funds this indulgence?

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  10. Graeme Edgeler (3,277 comments) says:

    This strikes me as the kind of case the three strikes law would be good for. If the two previous convictions counted as strikes, he would now be facing his third strike of life without parole.

    I can’t be certain, because the article isn’t clear enough, but the two previous convictions don’t sound serious enough to count as strike offending.

    I hope the judges of his first and second trials find it hard to sleep at night.

    Because they found him guilty? Or because they didn’t send him to prison for life for a crime the maximum sentence for which is likely to be no more than 5 years, and possibly less.

    I hope the people who have ensured that the prison system wasn’t sufficiently funded to fix this guy’s obvious alcohol (and maybe drug?) problems are happy with themselves.

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  11. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    joana

    You are perfectly correct: this law is about making people feel safer rather than addressing safety. We already have far too many people locked up in this country. It’s is a huge expense, and we can’t afford to provide anything much in the way of rehabilitation, which adds up to an enormous machne for exacerbating crime problems. Despite all that, NZ remains one of the safest countries on the planet.

    It’s high time NZ got a more sophisticated approach to law and order. I’m not sure that’s gong to happen – informed comment has sought it for many years and there’s not much sign of it happening. It’s possible that the present government has started testing the waters, with comments from English and Collins about the immense cost of prisons, etc, but no political party wants to be seen as ‘soft’ on crime.

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  12. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    RWWR

    Probably too harsh by me given, but in the intervening 30 years what has this woman been doing. We all falter and life moves on from school , but seriously if her life had got to the stage where shes spending all day drinking with a brain damaged glue sniffer her contribution quotant has been well used up a long time ago.

    The majority of murders in this country are of this type, loosers pissed and stoned all day long, a very very small percentage are of the “glamourous ” CSI type where its all premeditated and the victims etc are clean and educated.

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  13. Anthony (785 comments) says:

    It’s strange how left wing types get all concerned about the cost of prison for dangerous repeat criminals – and would rather they be released into the community to save some money!

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  14. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Thanks for your post MnM..I get yr point re political parties not wanting to be seen to be soft on crime..but why don’t more people ask about the enormous cost of imprisonment?
    As I posted somewhere else, the new Serco bosses say that there are a lot of people in prison in NZ who should not be there. This company has experience all over the world..I know of a dyslexic , young man who is currently in a medium security prison for 26 mths for stealing a T shirt. How much is this costing the taxpayer? and surely this money would be better spent on helping him in other ways.
    The other issue I always bring up is the almost complete lack of prison terms for NZ’s white collar crims..We seem to produce a lot of these types. Does anyone have any stats? It seems every week there is another multi million dollar wonder kid featuring in our papers. These people wreck many lives , destroy people’s health and greatly contribute to our suicide stats but most of them end up lolling about on the beaches of this world. How fair is that?

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  15. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    …”The majority of murders in this country are of this type, loosers pissed and stoned all day long,”….

    I doubt there is much evidence that would knock your observation. In your (ex) professional opinion are these people capable of rehabilitation or are they normally released only to reoffend.

    The bleeding hearts who would have us empty the prisons might have an epiphany if they had to live next door to these losers.

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  16. Michael (899 comments) says:

    PEB – Are you advocating state sponsored euthanasia? As RoW said, she didn’t have the best mental faculties and obviously had trouble finding people willing to take an interest in her. So when a loser like Haerewa did she was probably grateful for the attention.

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  17. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    joana

    … “in a medium security prison for 26 mths for stealing a T shirt”….

    There has to be more to this.

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  18. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Nasska

    The really sad part is that these people are non people, they have no reason to even exist, contribute nothing, mentally inadequate. To rehabilitate you have to have the mental skills to grasp concepts, if these skills are lacking – no rehabilitation.

    And I’m not being smart arsed either, its really sad, but there are thousands out there, fortunately most aren’t criminal, they just vote labour

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  19. Elaycee (4,333 comments) says:

    joanna says: “… “in a medium security prison for 26 mths for stealing a T shirt”….”

    Agree with nasska – there will certainly be more to this than stealing one T-shirt. What parts have been left out?

    This emotive nonsense is commonly used by the bleeding hearts – all bluster and emotion but short on fact.

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  20. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Pauleastbay

    Thanks. I’ve always doubted that prisons can do much on the rehabilitation side given the raw material they are given. While I reckon prisoners should be treated reasonably & humanely I also believe that society deserves to be protected from their likely repeat actions for as long as possible.

    To Hell with the expense.

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  21. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    nasska

    And you’d be happy with tax hikes to build another 4 or 5 prisons if necessary?

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  22. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    mikenmild

    If that is the price of an acceptable degree of safety then so be it.

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  23. tristanb (1,133 comments) says:

    Me: “I hope the judges of his first and second trials find it hard to sleep at night.”

    GE: Because they found him guilty? Or because they didn’t send him to prison for life for a crime the maximum sentence for which is likely to be no more than 5 years, and possibly less.

    No. Because because to anyone sensible this was inevitable, and those judges have the blood of McPhee on their hands. And if they’re constrained by laws, then they are guilty of not speaking out for injustice.

    You strike someone in a head with a weapon, then you do it again. Now I’m not saying I’m as smart as that second judge, but even animals are capable of pattern recognition. Smack someone in the head with a weapon – that’s attempted murder.

    Mikenmild/joana:
    Jail gives the “perception of safety”? McPhee would be alive if this bastard was still in jail. I feel much safer knowing that violent criminals are locked up.

    You talk about expense of jail. Well, we should try to reduce that – let’s start by not paying for the Bains and Capills of the world to get degrees.

    But the cost of letting criminal pieces of shit free is much much higher. There’s their dole, their future court cases, there’s their destruction of property and insurance costs to the community, there’s the cost of requiring more security and police everywhere. Plus how much value do you guys place on human life? $2 million? Then we’d have saved by keeping this piece of shit locked up.

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  24. Elaycee (4,333 comments) says:

    @nasska – I’m sure some money could be diverted away from WFF / benefit payments / Waitangi payouts / other bleeding heart activities to fund new prisons too.

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  25. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    trstanb

    Judges are confronted with the law and the facts. This guy was convicted of assaults. If they had been capable of being construed as attempted murder, then that’s maybe that’s what the charge would have been. Given that he could have been imprisoned for maybe 5 years, the question to me is what do we do with people in prison to gove ourselves a chance of not having to send them back there.

    Everyone agrees that community safety is paramount – there is no one actually arguing that they want more dangerous criminals attacking more people. The question is what kind of a system, what options are valuable, to give the best degree of protection for the community and to reduce the rate at which people go on to reoffend.

    Three strikes, locking them up longer, making prisons tougher, etc, etc don’t seem to me to offer much.

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  26. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Elaycee

    Tithing Waitangi payouts would be problematical but you’re on to it. Really, although, the up front cost is justifiable when you consider “tristanb’s” last paragraph in his 10.50am.

    One of the primary roles of the state is to ensure the safety of its citizens…both internally (justice) & externally (defense). A little more emphasis on these & a little less on social engineering would go a long way.

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  27. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    You have to stamp it out at source. 3-strikes is the ambulance at the bottom.

    That means society has to avoid letting young offenders rack up offence after offence which slowly get more serious. Do the police know which families commit most of the crime? You bet they do.

    But we aren’t allowed to do that, cause it would bweak their human wights. Until we as a society decide to do that, nothing will change.

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  28. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    mikenmild

    …”making prisons tougher”…..

    Leave me out on this one. You are sending animals through the “in” door. They need to receive reasonable treatment as, regrettably, one day they are going to be shown the “out” door & we can well do without embittered ex prisoners with an additional grudge against society.

    My argument is purely that society deserves protection from these people & I consider that the money is well spent if it keeps them segregated from society.

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  29. Elaycee (4,333 comments) says:

    @nasska – “A little more emphasis on these & a little less on social engineering would go a long way.”

    Kaaaa… ching!

    We spend squillions on panty waist causes and yet we shy away from the basics: a sound education based on reading, writing and arithmetic / a ‘no mess Charlie’ Law and Order system where criminals are treated as criminals and removed from society / a welfare system designed to give a leg-up to those who face a temporary crisis. But the bleeding heart liberals among us want us to provide a inter-generational cradle to grave welfare system and an endless supply of cash to support their own electoral base.

    Bugger that!

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  30. Griff (7,008 comments) says:

    “You strike someone in a head with a weapon, then you do it again. Now I’m not saying I’m as smart as that second judge, but even animals are capable of pattern recognition. Smack someone in the head with a weapon – that’s attempted murder.”

    Dean Whitcliff
    Armed hold up shot a man big huha manslaughter not murder.
    Released does another armed hold up.
    Released does it again .

    Jail and release these nutters time and again. or

    Three strikes

    First capital offense. try and rehabilitate
    Second capital offense. suspended capital sentence try and rehabilitate
    Third capital offense.= BULLET no arguments no appeal straight out of court and pow for the second offense

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  31. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    reid

    The ambulance at the bottom of the cliff may have to do unless we can find a few men of infinite wisdom to enact laws capable of checking the criminal classes without giving the state powers equivalent to those abused by Genghis Khan.

    Certainly the police well know their best customers but any move to distance them from their original purpose, that of evidence gatherers, is fraught with peril. If any group has to have increased scope to act it has to be the judiciary & to date I fail to see them as leading lights in any innovative campaign to stamp out crime.

    I’d rather live in an imperfect world than one where my freedom & well being is at the mercy of Helen Clark or John Banks or their lickspittle bureaucrats.

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  32. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    nasska, aposite to this, on GD kaya just gave this great link to analysis of the underclass behind the riots – it’s brilliant.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2024284/UK-riots-2011-Liberal-dogma-spawned-generation-brutalised-youths.html#ixzz1UrHNpakW

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  33. starboard (2,492 comments) says:

    “And you’d be happy with tax hikes to build another 4 or 5 prisons if necessary”

    no need fool…start culling the bad bad ones which will make space available for the next loser. Dont need to build anymore prisons milky.

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  34. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    reid

    Interesting, well thought out article. This quote says it all really:

    …”The depressing truth is that at the bottom of our society is a layer of young people with no skills, education, values or aspirations. They do not have what most of us would call ‘lives’: they simply exist.”…

    To break through that barrier will take some doing & while the dimwits in charge ponder over the mess the ferals continue breeding the next generation of cockups. The thought I’m left with is that the well intentioned do gooders may have helped individuals but their actions have been to the detriment of general society.

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  35. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Yes nasska. Isn’t it strange how the idiots really truly don’t see it? I mean it’s fucking obvious that lefty PC psychobabble social engineering is detrimental to the human condition. But the idiots really truly believe that no, it’s capitalism that’s the problem. It’s the nasty markets and nasty corpowations who are the real culprits. Ah ha, they shout mentally, caught you out again. Look at all the poor people now the nasty GFC took away the people’s money. That’s the real problem, they shout, again quite mentally.

    And just like fanatics, they won’t change their mind and can’t change the subject.

    What are we going to do with them.

    I have lots of good ideas on this but apparently they’re not allowed by law. It’s not fair.

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  36. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    reid

    I’m unsure in my own mind whether the problem has a viable solution. One thing does stand out & that is the likely employment status of the majority of the rioters. For certain some were employed or in education & went along for the ride but the majority would have been career beneficiaries.

    This is where NZ politicians could learn some valuable pointers. Lack of employment is a predicator of crime & social unrest. Decades ago Britain faced by an army of work shy natives who were quite happy to sit on their arses & draw benefits took the easy way out.

    Rather than adjust benefits to levels that make work worthwhile they encouraged the immigration of uneducated Pakistanis & West Indians to do the work British people thought below them. Now as well as third & fourth generation work dodgers they have problems with immigrant communities who have no intention of assimilating on any level other than the expanding dole queue.

    Britain is stuffed but the lesson is there for us to learn. If there are jobs that need doing force the NZ unemployed into them by any means possible but don’t allow unfettered immigration.

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  37. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    It is a difficult question since it involves vested interests.

    Nothing is more vigorously defended than a vested interest disguised as an intellectual conviction personifies lefty politics. It is all about them having a conviction they are right. Their vested interest is disguised in their own minds by that conviction and dismantling that involves dismantling their inner being since the whole thing is wrapped up in compassion which is a very powerful thing when it mixes with a conviction. That’s why they can’t and won’t change their minds. They don’t believe the cause and solution is in poor people’s own minds, they believe it lies in circumstances which they can influence favourably if only they were allowed to.

    Their fundamental problem is they have linked in their own minds compassion with conviction which makes them idealists. It’s impossible to convince them that concepts such as training poor people in beneficial things like self-discipline would not be an attack on the poor helpless darlings. That’s the first and only response they ever ever reach for anytime anywhere issues such as what we’re discussing surface. How the fuck can anyone argue facts and logic, with that idiocy on the table.

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  38. Griff (7,008 comments) says:

    More is the problem that the left rhetoric is beguiling for the sheep. They can not see pass this to actually look at the facts.

    More welfare equals more poor equals more welfare equals ……

    Education is the only solution not separatism, not social welfare, not meals in schools, not state houses, not social engineering
    just more Education.

    Education coupons to encourage better schools the ability to replace failed teachers with better ones,balanced curriculum not finely obscured social engineering, realizing that yes some are not going to fit the main stream find places for them that will fit and work, in short get the left out of education

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  39. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    reid

    Those at fault lie between the upper levels of government & the social workers interacting at the “coal face”. They all share a common failing, that of being over educated idealists. As you pointed out they “know” instinctively that given the money & authority they believe they are due, that they can work the miracle. They see it as a lack of resources rather than a deficiency of self determination that hobbles their “clients”. To do their holy work they must first bring capitalism to its knees.

    Their confidence is bolstered periodically by politicians who have been goaded by the latest expose in the tabloids.

    I repeat….Britain is stuffed. We have a little bit of time on our side but it’s running out fast.

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  40. Scott Chris (5,981 comments) says:

    reid (8,113) Says:
    August 13th, 2011 at 11:03 am
    “You have to stamp it out at source. 3-strikes is the ambulance at the bottom.”

    Hear hear.

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  41. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Griff

    Education yes…but education that produces jobs before education for its own sake. If not another degree in Pol. Science, Maori Studies or Polynesian Anthropology were issued for the next twenty years we would still have a pool of over qualified underachievers.

    What is needed is degrees in science, technology & engineering. More high quality apprenticeships wouldn’t go amiss. When & if we manage to retain first world status will be time enough to worry about things cultural.

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  42. Griff (7,008 comments) says:

    I agree as well teaching valid life skills are a necessity. budget, cook, healthy food etc,
    These family’s have no Idea

    New Zealanders are high up in the first world Its our failures that are not

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  43. backster (2,123 comments) says:

    Mikenmild and Joanna …I agree with you Capital Punishment is the answer for these scum, not building more luxury prisons…..

    I note the Judge in ruling out evidence of the two similar attacks hid behind the “It might unfairly prejudice the Jury against the defendant clause.”………..What the hell is the point of a trial if not that factual evidence should prejudice the jury one way or the other.

    The Jury system is redundant if Judges hide the facts.

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  44. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Elaycee How many NZ/overseas prisons have you visited? How many of the rest of you have visited prisons or been in them as a guest of her majesty?
    Tristanb I don’t think your figures are quite right.
    I would like to hear more detail from the Serco bosses re the people they consider to be in NZ prisons who shouldn’t be there?
    Just reminding y’all , I didn’t say anything against prisons ; I just raised the factor of cost plus the US experience ; plus the issue of white collar dudes getting off scot free.

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  45. Elaycee (4,333 comments) says:

    @joanna asks: “Elaycee How many NZ/overseas prisons have you visited? How many of the rest of you have visited prisons or been in them as a guest of her majesty?”

    Answer: None. And as I don’t break the Law, I don’t expect to be inside one any time soon. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have an opinion on the subject. I’ve never taken drugs but I don’t have to have been an addict to know that drugs are evil. Prisons are full of criminals. Prisoners get a soft ride in NZ because of soft cock liberal bleeding hearts who want criminals pampered and treated like a hotel guest. I say bollocks to that – criminals are in prison for a reason – as punishment / to remove them from society / to protect law abiding citizens.

    BTW – why don’t you answer the earlier query – you suggested someone was locked in medium security for stealing a T shirt. I called bullshit on that – people don’t get sent away for stealing a T shirt. So what were the other charges / how many chances had this person had before / what were the full facts (you omitted to tell)?

    Or was this ‘instance’ bullshit as well?

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  46. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    backster

    Whether or not it is justified capital punishment will never fly again in NZ. The day before it was revealed that some over zealous cops had planted the cartridge cases in the Arthur Thomas case was the last day the hangman’s noose could have been reintroduced.

    In any case life sentences that mean life would suffice in the worst cases. Something like 693 year sentences such as handed out in the States would stonewall the gullible dogooders on the parole board.

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  47. Griff (7,008 comments) says:

    The poor bloody screws having to babysit the scum. The ones I have met have been good sorts retaining a sense of perspective must be hard in that job.

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  48. Scott Chris (5,981 comments) says:

    backster

    I agree with you that early intervention and rehabilitation is the only way to break the cycle of violence. The abused will inevitably become the abusers, unless we spend money and resources identifying at risk children and ensuring that bone-headed punitive retribution is not the fate that awaits them.

    Had the Cris and Cru Kahui survived to adulthood, chances are they would have graduated from victim, to perpetrator. Where then would our collective societal outrage be directed?

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  49. backster (2,123 comments) says:

    SCOTT……….On the contrary, how many days do you think the London riots would have lasted if a few Singapore Judges were called in to hear the cases and a few expert Rotan floggers to administer justice.. That would be all the early intervention and rehabilitation required.

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  50. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Yep , Elaycee ..guessed as much.

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  51. Scott Chris (5,981 comments) says:

    backster

    Raising the stakes raises the ante:

    “I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect.”

    Oscar Wilde

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  52. Elaycee (4,333 comments) says:

    @joanna – so are you going to back up your claim that someone was locked up in medium security for stealing a T shirt, or is this bullshit as well?

    Your silence is deafening….

    Time for you to put up… or to stop talking crap.

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  53. Elaycee (4,333 comments) says:

    @backster says: “how many days do you think the London riots would have lasted if a few Singapore Judges were called in to hear the cases and a few expert Rotan floggers to administer justice”

    Agree 100%. Its time for the bleeding hearts to pull their heads in and for some old fashioned discipline to be re-introduced.

    Not much re-offending there either. Funny that….

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  54. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Chop their hands off…that’ll show them.

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  55. starboard (2,492 comments) says:

    now your talking mike..at last , some common sense from the far left..

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  56. wat dabney (3,724 comments) says:

    The truth is that the state has no interest in a functioning private society where children are disciplined.

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  57. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    How about three strikes?
    First strike – right hand
    Second strike – left hand
    Third strike – neck

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  58. starboard (2,492 comments) says:

    stop it Mike your arousing me…

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  59. Griff (7,008 comments) says:

    Te idea mike is not to learn them the idea mike is save us all lots and lots of money.

    If the dog don’t learn euthanize it

    If the crim don’t learn spend a few mill on keeping them as pets for the rest of their life

    No we will never have capital punishment again of more importance is try to rehabilitate try real hard if that don’t work remove them from society

    Its about the balance between justice, rehabilitation, punitive punishment and society’s safety

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  60. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Holding people to account for their own actions mm is all that is required.

    That’s the attitude shift that’s required both in the legislation covering the welfare state and in the justice system as well.

    It’s not nasty and it’s not harsh and it’s not brutal, but that’s what the left always proclaim.

    WTF is wrong with the left that it doesn’t get human nature which is that if you empower people with a sense of their own capability and self-worth, people work themselves upward.

    The reason why the poor people don’t do that is because they don’t have that, not cause they’re dumb but merely cause they’re ignorant which is entirely solvable, provided one doesn’t get all confused about what the hell it’s all about which is helping them stand and halfway through the process, one rushes over to give the poor helpless darlings a gweat big hug, which ruins the whole idea.

    Society today is so poisoned by lefty thought patterns, that this obvious fundamental fact of human behaviour has quite escaped mass consciousness in favour of some bullshit, fluffy nebulous warm feeling in one’s tummy which apparently, is very important indeed, to some.

    So it’s the lefty’s fault, in summary, for being so fucking emotional about the whole thing they allow it to override logic and commonsense and history and anthropology and even sociology or at least that not poisoned by Marx.

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  61. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    reid

    Just there you have touched on the big untold truth. No one is acting for the betterment of the poor…rather they are acting out their fantasies of altruism, blind to the results & ignorant of the best means to reach their goal.

    To a socialist there is nothing that can’t be fixed by a dollop of other people’s money & a group hug.

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  62. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Elaycee..Your tone isn’t so great. Opinions are… well….cheap; easily expressed in a free country like ours. There is something about our education system which produces a lot of very opiniated women. I am not particularly knocking you; I am a product of the same system. All these opinions are fine but they don’t go down well in some segments of NZ society and they certainly don’t go down well in many overseas cultures.
    The thing I have learned is that people take you a lot more seriously when you have experience behind you; experience to back up your opinions. I have visited 9/10 prisons in NZ and visited a women’s prison every week for several years.
    The young man I mentioned was in a minimum security prison..got parole ..then had an upset with a probation officer , got sent to a mental health facility..yes we still have a few of those in NZ…..then got sent to the medium security prison he is now in. He did have problem with P..he has meth mouth which you may or may not be familiar with..The ex cop who left the cops to fight this scourge says that ”Once you try meth , you are chasing this feeling for the rest of your life.” Personally I don’t know a lot about meth. I only know this young man..but it is fair to say that most of the people making millions out of this trade are not in a minimum security prison let alone a medium security one. I don’t know trhe exact details of his charges..only what his family tell me , but I have been around prison officers long enough to know that they don’t tell too many inmates that ”You shouldn’t be in here.”
    Foreign probation officers are not up to much..Some of you will be pleased to know that the Safas in our prison service are sticklers for the rules..This is their culture..a rule is a rule is a rule to a Safa.

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  63. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    backster points out:

    The Jury system is redundant if Judges hide the facts.

    Sadly, blogging is far from redunadant when bloggers cherry-pick the facts they choose to repeat. In this instance, despite reproducing almost the entire report (complete, of course, with gruesome details), DPF left out:

    Earlier that evening a friend … heard Haerewa ask Ms McPhee to look after him … Mr Haerewa, who is said to have significant brain damage from alcohol abuse and glue sniffing…

    What Haerewa needed, a long, long time ago, was looking after. And not in a cuddly way, but in a way that would have prevented any of this, or at least most of it.

    Once upon a time we had secure mental facilities where people suffering from brain damage – self-inflicted or otherwise – were kept in reasonably humane conditions. Or, if they weren’t humane, then an independent inspectorate could have been set up to report on them and ensure that they were. As a result, the community wasn’t at risk, the brain damaged who were so inclined didn’t give in to their uncontrollable rages, mental health professionals had jobs, and everyone was fairly happy.

    Then some politicians decided that this was barbaric, and “care in the community” was what was needed. The doors were opened, dozens of dangerous people (and hundreds of scared, institutionalised ones) were unleashed, the institutions were closed, and anyone with a mental health issue was left with two choices – struggling to cope in the community or locked in a cell.

    Many of our cells are full of people with mental illness and/or brain damage. Most, thankfully, aren’t dangerous but they are a public nuisance. And they – and the victims of the worst of them – deserve a hell of a lot better.

    Not the lynch mob “three strikes” mentality seemingly mined ad infinitum on this blog, but the reopening of secure mental health facilities in which someone as hopelessly mentally compromised as Haerewa would have been contained a lomg time ago, when his no doubt minor offending first began, and well before he escalated to his second victim – possibly even before his first.

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  64. starboard (2,492 comments) says:

    “Then some politicians decided that this was barbaric, and “care in the community” was what was needed ”

    ..and I believe that was done in the Shipley era …the same woman who’s shafting us a grand a day to oversee the earthquake rebuild.

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  65. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Well said Rex, I’ve never understood the logic behind that Lange govt 80′s move, either.

    Sure they sold it on compassion as lefties always do cause they see nothing else but chickens have roosted at home time and again ever since. Duh.

    I acknowledge back then it was overused as a first not last resort, but they threw the baby out where they could have just fixed that.

    Idiots.

    Another worthy candidate for a tiny sliver of Key’s political capital. Possibly even more worthy than a cycleway.

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  66. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    @reid:

    The reason why the poor people don’t do that is because they don’t have that, not cause they’re dumb but merely cause they’re ignorant which is entirely solvable

    With the courage of one’s convictions, yes. But our political system has devolved in such a way that courage is not rewarded… small-c conservatism is. It’s all very well to blame “the left” (and gawd knows they deserve it) but the very meaning of conservatism is support for the status quo. And in prison policy, as in so amny other apects of sociry, the status quo is broken.

    provided one doesn’t get all confused about what the hell it’s all about which is helping them stand and halfway through the process, one rushes over to give the poor helpless darlings a gweat big hug, which ruins the whole idea.

    Depends what you mean by that. Partial reward for partial completion can be effective. Even in “super max” US jails with inmates serving life sentences (and I mean real life sentences, so you’d think they’d have a “notjing to lose” menatlity), rewarding improvement in behaviour with more time in the yard, a cell with a larger window, being allowed to have your door open for some of the day and so on, has proven tremendously effective.

    So it’s the lefty’s fault, in summary, for being so fucking emotional about the whole thing they allow it to override logic and commonsense and history and anthropology and even sociology or at least that not poisoned by Marx.

    Sadly in my experience its worse than that. The lefties I talk to seem to understand – better than the righties – that even a prisoner will potentially respond to a genuine opportunity to better their lot, because many righties (including some present company) seem to derive a perverse kick out of having a strata of society on whom they can safely vent their pent-up aggression.

    Then just when I’m starting to think the lefty “gets it” they come out with some variation of “of course first we have to smash capitalism, because it’s so intrinsically unfair”.

    And then what’s the reward for turning away from a life of crime? The end of a shovel on a collectivist farm?! And don;t even get me started on trying to convince a lefty that private prisons are better in every respect than state-run ones (provided the the KPIs are set properly) precisely because the profit motive provides an effective means of control…

    No wonder my forehead is so flat and my wall is concave.

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  67. Scott Chris (5,981 comments) says:

    Reid says:

    “if you empower people with a sense of their own capability and self-worth, people work themselves upward.”

    I couldn’t agree more. However, it turns out that it’s much cheaper in the short term to just give them the dole. That money passes through them like water through a sieve back into the wider, tax paying economy.

    To be honest, a lot of welfare dependents are beyond therapy, so you may as well focus on their children.

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  68. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    Rex

    As I have indicated to you previously on this forum, I have no thoughts of vengeance against & little hope for rehabilitation of these people. I do, however maintain that society has a right not to have them in our midst. Okay, most are an annoyance as opposed to a threat but the unqualified & unaware man/woman in the street has no way of knowing those that are from those that aren’t.

    The secure institutions you described were closed down to save money under the guise of allowing care within the community. The care is not there & has never been funded properly.

    The reason three strikes gets so much support on this blog is that it represents the only way the general public can reduce the perceived risk to themselves & their families. Imperfect I agree but it is the reasonable reaction of sensible people who have been let down by those who purport to know best.

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  69. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    @starboard:

    I believe that was done in the Shipley era …the same woman who’s shafting us a grand a day to oversee the earthquake rebuild.

    @reid:

    I’ve never understood the logic behind that Lange govt 80′s move, either.

    Actually, the reason I said “politicians” is that both sides are equally pigheaded (surprise, surprise) as this report confirms:

    New Zealand acknowledged the need to close its institutions but instigated the process very gradually over a period of more than twenty years. The closure of the last institution for people with intellectual disabilities, the Kimberley Centre, was effected in October 2006.

    Note the value-laden term “need” in there? Nice how academics and politicians of both hues collude to tell us what’s best for our families, community and wider society and then, by the time it’s shown they got it demonstrably wrong (as the Haerewa case proves) they are – as starboard points out – sucking the public teat dry for their “expertise” in something entirely different.

    But of course DPF wouldn’t blame Shipley or any of his other political associates… far better to rouse the KB lynch mob for another round of chanting “three strikes, three strikes!”

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  70. Elaycee (4,333 comments) says:

    @joana – thank you for at least confirming that your earlier comment was false – “The young man I mentioned was in a minimum security prison..got parole ..then had an upset with a probation officer , got sent to a mental health facility… then got sent to the medium security prison he is now in. He did have problem with P…”

    All I did was call bullshit on your claim that someone was locked up for stealing a T shirt. Stealing was clearly not his only offence.

    And BTW – I have no issues with opinionated women – my wife falls into that category quite nicely thanks… :)

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  71. starboard (2,492 comments) says:

    yeah but they are not all mentally ill Rex…a lot are just plain bad and evil…they are the ones to be lynched.

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  72. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    @nasska

    You’re very right, and I can understand the attraction of “three strikes”… it seems like a good idea if you accept that the causes of offending cannot be tackled effectively, that mentally ill people (even the dangerous ones, at least till they prove they are) are better off in the community (with, as you so rightly point out, no decent support for their families in return for doing the job the state used to do), and a whole raft of other fallacies.

    But people who know better – or ought to know better, because they’re paid to, like politicians – have a duty to be honest with the electorate and say “Well we sure buggered that up. Actually there are some people who’d be better off in a secure, humane facility, cared for by professionals. Sorry about that, we’ll fix it right away”.

    It’s them I look upon with contempt and anger (and the people who go a step further and talk of bullets and hanging), not the decent citizen, terrified in his or her home, who understandably sees three strikes as their only hope.

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  73. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Rex
    Great posts..I would say you have earned your flat forehead.
    Nasska..agree..it was a cost cutting exercise..also lazy , unimaginative policy making as is the three strikes law..How bright do you have to be to copy some other country’s policy? My question is always , why do we copy failed policies from other countries..?? Is it Finland which has halved its prison population? Does anyone know the number of NZ inmates now getting anti psychotic medication? Surely we can all see where the US is today..who wants to go there?

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  74. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    We need a two tier prison system. One for rehabilitation, the other to protect society. All but the very worst offenders go to the rehab system first, and either graduate back to society or get demoted to the protection regime. All newbies get a taste, say a few weeks, of the protection system which involves hard work (to pay for their keep), harsh conditions and few privileges. They also get to see testimonials of those that have gone there… advising others how to keep out. Lots of re-training and support in the rehab system, but none in the protection system.

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  75. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    @starboard:

    I’ve seen evil people. I’ve been locked up with them. I admit they do exist. Take away the drink or the drugs they use as excuses for their behaviour and they’d do it anyway.

    They deserve to be locked away for the rest of their lives (but we as a society tend to refrain from making those sorts of judgments, and treat the murderer who found his wife in bed with another man little differently from the thrill killer, keeping preventive detention orders almost solely for sex crimes, strangely).

    But lynching them… and especially delighting in lynching them… makes us no different to them.

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  76. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    @krazykiwi:

    Or indeed a multi-tiered system, with a free flow back and forth between tiers. Screw up, take a step back into worse conditions. Straighten up, move forward again. In this way we reinforce constantly the lesson “behave as we expect you to behave and we’ll treat you reasonably”.

    Indeed if we got it working properly the whole idea of sentencing would change. You’d get a minimum sentence which reflected the absolute lowest level of time society felt it acceptable for you to serve for your crime. But demonstrate a bad attitude and habits within jail and you could serve very much longer, because you would have to move through each tier to reach the “outside”.

    However, prisons as we know them now can’t cope with that and nor could many of the staff within them. Which is one reason I’m in favour of private prisons… Serco already follows the “treat us as you would wish to be treated” philosophy with prisoners, and it works, brilliantly.

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  77. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    what else do you know about Serco Rex?

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  78. nasska (10,917 comments) says:

    joanna

    I will not argue against your ideals in treatment of these offenders but for the sake of the public at large alternative arrangements have to be in place before different sentencing can proceed. We’ve lived through one debacle & that’s enough.

    krazykiwi

    Practical idea. Probably cost neutral so should be salable to politicians.

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  79. Griff (7,008 comments) says:

    At present our justice system concentrates on the punitive. To lock them up were they can learn more criminal behavior . For the dysfunctional this becomes their default society. Taking away any chance they have of returning into the folds of outside society. l have known men who have become institutionalized by the system. To survive out here is terrifying to them if released they have no way of coping. Inside they are respected admired they are someone outside they are no one a crim a reject
    We do not need to allow this we should try to rehabilitate first and second however a some point we must admit defeat then a life segregated from the “normal” prisoners or capital punishment becomes the only sane options. if not They just remain a festering wound still poisoning society from the inside. Save your contempt and anger for the true sociopaths.

    The mentally ill are a different case if they truly are they need help not prison as such but a secure facility were proper care can be provided to them.

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  80. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    We do not need to allow this we should try to rehabilitate first

    We already do Griff and guess what, the only time the rehabilitation approach doesn’t work is when we’re dealing with a case of: fuck you, I’m entitled, keep your hands off of me, I’m entitled and if you don’t like it I’ll get my beak onto it, courtesy of legal aid.

    Sometimes that abuse happens in the penal system and its genuine and sometimes it doesn’t . But isn’t it telling that the system itself isn’t capable of reliably distinguishing between the two.

    Isn’t that telling.

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  81. David Garrett (6,786 comments) says:

    An interesting range of views on this topic as usual…isn’t that ex cop in the BOP a nice guy? “Two for the price of one”…and they called me a fascist maniac..

    Rex, next time you in are in Godzone please get in touch…DPF has my e-mail…I won’t bite you, and both of us may learn something…

    For the many commenters who say 3S is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff…OF COURSE it is….and those who say we should be tackling the problem people before they become candidates for the 3S ambulance…Duh… YES, of course we should.

    But that begs two questions: what do we do with the damaged and dangerous – whether by background, drugs, genes or pure chance – individuals we have now? And how will we ever get agreement on what to do about their children, who will grow up to emulate them? As someone said, if Chris and Cru Kahui had survived to adulthood there is every chance they would have become perps themselves…and Delcelia Witaka (sp??) would probably have become like her “mother”

    Bob McCroskie says all parents should be married church goers, while Sue Bradford says we just need to double the benefits and the minimum wage, give Maori everything they want, and everything will be peachy….the rest of us fall somewhere between the two on that continuum

    But until we have some consensus about HOW we tackle the next generation, we have a current generation of violent offenders who have guadrupled our violent offending rate per 100,000 of population in 40 years to deal with… Perhaps Mr Compassion in the BOP can give us his prescription….but then it’s much easier to sit in your underpants in front of your computer than to get inside “the system” and actually try and DO something….

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  82. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Mr Compassion here David

    Firstly as you know I think the 3 strikes legislation is grand standing to the nth degree and have commented several times to that effect. It is unnecessary when there are sentences more than adequate on the books and have been for years.

    Secondly I have been in the system and was for 25 years plus, not flitting between political ideologies.

    There are people in our society who do not deseve oxygen, I know this and I also accept that we can’t kill them.There is a need for basic welfare for the feeble minded and totally incompetent.

    There are people in our society that are beyond rehabilitation. 1. You have to want to change. 2. You have to have the mental skills to accept the concept of rehabilitation. 3. You have to decide what rehabilitation is, my moral compass is different from my neighbours. What is rehabilitation? If part of any plan is to have to teach that stabbing your wife is bad you are wasting your time.

    My prescription is:

    Intervention early is the only way to deal with the problems we are facing..give me a child and I’ll make him anything I want…

    Kids that get into trouble early need to be punished early, they need to be punished to an extent that they never want to be put in this situation again. They do not need warnings and community service, give them borstal early show there is a consequence, its too late when they have 84 convictions and then its decided to jail them.

    If this doesnt work use the sentences available already, give them 10 years for burglary for there first couple. 7- 8 years for flogging a TV is a bloody good lesson.

    Then again if you work at te Papa you can put your exs head down the toilet and not be convicted because it might affect your abililty to travel overseas. That was fucking disgraceful and he should have been jailed no warnings straight to jail. Thats where 3S is futile because that piece of shit will never offend again.

    So David not a facist by any means but as someone who has seen many many people be allowed, yes, allowed to carry on with no consequences and then society goes”” why did he do that ( insert crime) ? He did it because he thought he would always be allowed to go home after Court for anything he did.

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  83. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    …give them borstal early…

    I don’t disagree Paul and I think it goes without saying doesn’t it that such treatment while harsh should and must never be brutal or abusive which is immediately where lefties leap to.

    Also that paths must be forged to show them a way out that’s proven, achievable and which we will help them accomplish.

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  84. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Reid,

    I m not saying treat anyone brutally, I am saying punish them. So that they will not being going home to a couple joints and sex with the girlfriend.

    You can punish without being brutal, its called disipline, just basic like getting up before 3.00pm , not going to the supermarket in your pyjamas and washing and shaving everyday.

    A controlled enviroment where numeracy and literacy deficencies are picked up, becasue these are kids who have never been to school but in this environment they are forced to

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  85. David Garrett (6,786 comments) says:

    Agree with most of what you say Mr Eastbay….and how do you think you are going to get any political party to agree with your prescription which ( in an ideal world, or even one in which a benevolent dictator was in charge) is by and large the same as mine?

    Politics as Bismarck said (I think it was he) is “the art of the possible”…3S was “possible” – with a lot of effort. Getting a political party to agree that young offenders can be handed over to you for re-education is not….at least not in our lifetimes…

    I’ll go further and say I believe we will eventually go back to the noose for the worst offenders, and people may eventualy have to qualify to have children, as we have to qualify to drive a car….but not in our lifetimes…

    so what’s your prescription that might be achievable rather than fantasy?

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  86. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Its all achievable in our life time.

    The borstal concept, needs to be modernised. Carrying a stack of bricks back and forth across the yard all day achieves nothing, but its a bloody good punishment for those who muck about in education lessons at this type of facility.

    Secondly, do not let anybody with a piece of paper with writing on it ending in any sort of …….ology any where near the place, piss off hippies.

    Its hackneyed, but the armed forces turn out brilliant trainers and can handle large numbers of individuals at once.

    Lastly, when you get sentenced to the new enlighted bortsal establishment where you will have excellent medical and educational opportunities , understand that your rights will be those that are those of the establishment not society at large because you have proved that you can not live by those rules presently.

    Its really not hard, just keep the hippies away. These are kids that come from chaos they need rules for a start before the cuddle feelys get in. They will have their place later, you just need to establish control first.

    Any political party could do this, we are talking kids who aren’t a constituency. The parents are of a type that don’t even vote mostly. The hand wringers from Grey Lynn will take it upon themselves to be the spokes people for ” subjects” when in fact they will have no more idea how these kids live than I do regarding the Royal family

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  87. Griff (7,008 comments) says:

    Education education education
    We can not hope to save the already lost
    We can save the Innocent good schools good outcomes
    There is stuff that is out of horror movies.
    Its the one at the bottom we must spend money and time on. They are the under class of the future.
    More for low deciles schools and I hate to say more money, but money spent on these kids now is probable the best investment we can make. Listen to the teachers at the coal face not the bureaucrats the ones that chose to do the work because they want to help. lefty’s they may be but they have the real experience. Counseling helps these kids they are being beaten raped and abused. They are the ones that end up continuing the cycle. they need to be taught basic life skills. We find it inconceivable but kids turn up at school at five with no language or severe emotional problems or worse. these are the statistics in the future. Fix them while they are still malleable not when there habits are set

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  88. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Griff

    Agree with you there as well.

    Theres a case for a “stolen generation” scenario here somewhere.

    There always has been and always will be an “underclass” but the sexual offending and abuse is right across economic lines and sadly that has always been the case as well. Its just better reported these days

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  89. Griff (7,008 comments) says:

    South Auckland school councilor admitted to me Maori population same % as society at large half the councilors work load
    I am not bashing Maori here its reality. yes abuse happens every were but look at the statistics. They are the ones most in need.
    Social welfare mental problems crime suicide Maori are way higher than they should be. Maori need the help be very careful about some initiatives. look at the results do they work or a they just woolly thinking. I have heard that a program called stand up has had great success in the past but it is now failing due to bureaucratic nonsense. you must strip the PC bullshit away and look at this from reality the numbers don’t lie

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  90. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    @joana – a fair bit. They’re by no means perfect (though generally willing to listen to criticism and ideas for improvement) but they’re better than any state prison system I’m aware of, and vastly superior to the Wackenhutts of the industry, who unfortunately have given the term “private prison” a very bad name.

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  91. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    @David Garrett – certainly will do. I’m sure we could both learn something.

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  92. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Rex thanks.
    Elaycee I thought you were a girl. As I said , your tone isn’t great. Remember , experience is the only teacher.
    Griff great posts..when I worked in the prison system more than 30 yrs ago , a huge proportion of inmates could not read. Try telling that to Elaycee , on a good day.

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  93. Elaycee (4,333 comments) says:

    @joana – jeez you’re at it again… Based on your view, I can’t make a valid comment on drugs because I’ve never participated. Or I cannot make a valid comment on crime because I’m not a criminal. Or I cannot make a comment on politics because I’m not a politician. Or I cannot have a view on Hamas because I haven’t had the misfortune to have a family member killed by their guns and rockets. Bollocks again…..

    So you worked in a prison system 30 years ago. That doesn’t make you the expert in criminal sentencing in 2011. The problem with bleeding hearts is that you think the ‘solution’ is to treat criminals with woollen gloves whilst we throw more and more money at the problem when, in fact the problem starts at home with poor parenting and manifests itself further when criminals are treated with kid gloves when they first come into contact with the judicial system. If kids received a massive kick in the arse when they first offended, they may think twice before any second offence.

    Paul Eastbay’s comments (GD 14 August) are on the money. Perhaps you can read them. But cuddling criminals and giving them hotel class facilities whilst they receive degrees during their punishment, is bollocks. NZ youth (in particular) needs a dose of Singapore discipline – not too much repeat offending there. In this country, we pamper our criminals – a legacy borne by a decade of bleeding hearts within the system.

    Discipline is the key and cuddling our criminals and treating them like hotel guests is a failed socialist experiment. Cue: army type discipline for youth and adults / borstals for kids. The present experiment hasn’t worked.

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  94. Elaycee (4,333 comments) says:

    Oops – Pauleastbay’s comments were here on this thread – not GD today [as suggested in the previous post].

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  95. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    We’ve been too soft for too long. As parental failure is often the root cause, I support looking up the parents of violent offenders as well. That’ll cut a huge swathe through the underclass.

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