Doesn’t sound very evil to me?

October 29th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The left oppose the ideas of , and specifically a PPP model for . They would have you think that private will be profit motivated penal institutions that don’t invest in etc.

The reality is that the last private prison we had (Labour tore up the contract) did much better than the state prisons, and the Herald looks at the new Wiri prison:

Inmates moving through the country’s new $300 million prison will be able to track their path to freedom.

As they get closer to the main gatehouse, they are nearing their release date.

The jail, which covers 17ha at Wiri in the southwest of Auckland, is laid out according to the prisoner’s journey.

Factors deciding where they are on the site include the seriousness of offending, length of sentence, level of risk and behaviour within the walls.

“The design mirrors your own personal journey,” says John Holyoake, transition director from private British-owned corrections operator Serco New Zealand.

“So the highest level of security is farthermost from the exit. The concept of punishment has been removed. Instead, this is about rehabilitation and reintegration.”

Isn’t this what the left should be supporting?

Inmates will have computers in their cells, with streams of viewing available: free-to-air television channels and educational information, designed to enhance their vocations or careers once they are out, Holyoake says.

Not exactly hard labour or D block is it.

Those involved in Wiri says it breaks the mould in terms of new prisons because it is a public-private partnership (PPP) between the Department of Corrections and SecureFuture comprising builder Fletcher Construction, maintenance specialist Spotless and operator Serco New Zealand with a 25-year contract. Buildings are designed by architects Mode Design of Australia and Peddle Thorp, working with Beca and SKM.

Excellent.

Double-bunk and single-bunk rooms in the three more secure house blocks at the men’s prison are 8.6sq m in size.

“This will be the world’s best new prison,” says Holyoake.

Near the gatehouse, things are quite different at the cluster of low-security residences.

“Up to 24 prisoners will live in each of the residences, two levels high, almost like a motel unit. They will have their own bedrooms and a budget to buy their food and some people will be learning social skills they never had. Some of the people in here will be working on the outside too,” Holyoake said.

I’m all for rehabilitation, when it works. Some prisoners can not be rehabilitated, but those who can be are worth investing in.

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34 Responses to “Doesn’t sound very evil to me?”

  1. Harriet (4,772 comments) says:

    “…..Inmates will have computers in their cells, with streams of viewing available: free-to-air television channels and educational information, designed to enhance their vocations or careers once they are out, Holyoake says….”

    Cool.

    If reform works then we’ll have more conservative minded people logging on here instead of the current liberal minded drug legalisers, advocates for lowering the age of sexual consent, and the police hating Bainites, Lundites and Thomasites.

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  2. Rick Rowling (825 comments) says:

    I worked at a place once where one desk was called the “departure lounge”.

    Whoever was put there ended up leaving the company within 3 months, voluntarily or otherwise…

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  3. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Wait until Hanlon gets his losers going on this one . . . Fairfax and APN Labour/Green propaganda will be bombarding us, not to forget the slimy little weasel Campbell on Tv3.

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  4. mikemikemikemike (323 comments) says:

    Meanwhile in the real world:
    http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/business/news/sercos-uk-boss-jeremy-staffords-absence-from-work-adds-to-companys-woes-29704420.html

    DPF you are a pretty good spin guy, but I suspect this is all going to end badly with Serco at the helm. It’s a pity because the concept could work, but Serco have bad form already and I doubt anything here will change.

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  5. PaulL (6,019 comments) says:

    I always wonder how we go with rehabilitating criminals. The problem is that it’s hard for them to get a job, so they end up back in a life of crime, irrespective of what we spend on rehabilitation. The problem is that people don’t like hiring a crook, even if they’ve served their time. And I’m not sure I blame them.

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  6. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    This might be a problem that needs dealt with first…

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/9335492/Most-prison-inmates-have-brain-injuries

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  7. Nigel Kearney (969 comments) says:

    Re the ‘brain injury’ story, at one point they suggest that expecting someone with a brain injury to obey the law is like asking a blind person to see, then right after that they say there are treatment and management programs that are proven to work.

    Anyway the prison sound a bit too luxurious and could be a place where inmates are sad to leave and want to go back. There is no need for TVs at all. They can read books, or be learning to read them. The main thing every prison needs is the facilities to enable every prisoner to work 40 hours a week in some kind of job. But that’s probably illegal or something.

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  8. wreck1080 (3,864 comments) says:

    “Some prisoners can not be rehabilitated”

    Labour will not accept that. But, they would probably accept throwing more money at an issue will fix any problem.

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  9. dime (9,799 comments) says:

    “The problem is that it’s hard for them to get a job”

    As some of you know, Dimes best mate growing up did “life” for murder.

    He had a job within 4 weeks of getting out.

    Boss “you were in jail for what?”
    Friend “i was convicted of murder”
    Boss “it wasnt work related was it?” heh

    The difference is my buddy is a smart guy (nuts, but smart), can speak well and actually picked up a lot of skills in jail. Too bad he didnt get a shrink but thats another story.

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  10. Black with a Vengeance (1,770 comments) says:

    Couldn’t give a fuck if they’re brain damaged.

    The way i figure is, if we pay whomever 91k a year to look after crims in prison I damn sure want a return in labour or goods or services from them.

    Its no wonder theres anecdotal data to suggest people commit crimes to get looked after as much as others breed for business.

    meanwhile our elderly are suffering from substandard care they have to pretty much pay for themselves.

    Something is definitely broken in society and needs fixing but i fear it’s always going to be in the too hard basket of any governement. either left or right leaning.

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  11. Elaycee (4,351 comments) says:

    Prison? WTF?

    This new facility sounds more like a Holiday Inn…

    What happened to the silly notion that prison was a place where criminals were sent as punishment for their crimes against society?

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  12. dime (9,799 comments) says:

    “Anyway the prison sound a bit too luxurious and could be a place where inmates are sad to leave and want to go back.”

    lol doesnt sound like complete luxury to me.

    “There is no need for TVs at all. They can read books, or be learning to read them.”

    Heres an experiment. Lock yourself in a small bedroom between 7pm & 7am every night for a week. No phone or anything. Just a few books. See how you go.. maybe it will be nice to start.. so try 3 months.

    Oh yeah, whenever someone visits you, a stranger needs to look up inside your asshole!

    Then imagine how pissed off you’d be after 5 years. We should be trying to fix most of these people.

    10% just get a bullet. Its the humane thing to do.

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  13. duggledog (1,496 comments) says:

    My 2c worth:

    Prison should be

    A: For keeping the 5% out of circulation and away from the 95% as they go about their lawful business.

    B: For punishing the 5% so they think twice when next beating up a dairy owner for fifty bucks and some fags, or stealing, or whatever else. Look at the Japanese model, strict discipline but humane

    C: Distant third – rehabilitation. If the length of A and the severity of B were more meaningful I would guess there would be virtually no need for C.

    And also I think DG should have gone harder… 2S, not 3S!

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  14. Elaycee (4,351 comments) says:

    @duggledog: Well said. +1

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  15. Nigel Kearney (969 comments) says:

    >Heres an experiment. Lock yourself in a small bedroom between 7pm & 7am every night for a week.
    >No phone or anything. Just a few books. See how you go.. maybe it will be nice to start.. so try 3 months.

    Wow. You may not be aware, but there was a time not too long ago with no computers, and two or three TV channels with nothing much worth watching on them. And before that there was no TV at all. And plenty of us are old enough to have lived through that and emerged relatively unscathed.

    Right now, I watch maybe 2-3 hours TV a week. Spending an evening with my feet up reading a book is not exactly torture. Ok I don’t read in my bedroom with the door locked so maybe that would change everything and your whole scenario is completely valid. But I doubt it.

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  16. flipper (3,941 comments) says:

    Might be a good idea to get rid of ALL the UK/Collins bullshit about PO uniforms etc…and the protection of illiterate prison officers by their union.

    That would be a good first step, and one that privately, Corrections, HO, would favour.

    The PPP and prison concept? Excellent.

    Next we need to de-power the union, whose only objective is the preservation of absurd PO employment conditions, and the inmate perception that PO’s are an extension of the “Gang in Blue”.

    What most critics fail to recognise is that the deprivation of liberty is THE PUNISHMENT. Prison conditions, per se, are not punishment. In that respect, anyone who thinks this PPP approach is soft, should note what W. S. Churchill told the House of Commons, circa 1910: “A civilised nation can measure itself by the humanity, and understanding, that it shows toward those that it incarcerates.”

    Reducing recidivism is the system’s aim for 95%+ of all prison inmates. That cannot be achieved by a system that does NOT promote rehabilitation.

    This PPP is a good step. Let’s have more.

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  17. dime (9,799 comments) says:

    “Wow. You may not be aware, but there was a time not too long ago with no computers, and two or three TV channels with nothing much worth watching on them. ”

    and you were locked in a tiny room? couldnt go outside. had to crap in the corner of the room.

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  18. Sector 7g (241 comments) says:

    “The problem is that it’s hard for them to get a job, so they end up back in a life of crime”

    Has anyone ever met a criminal in New Zealand that uses the proceeds of crime to buy the basic necessities of life? I haven’t, unless that definition covers drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and cool shit that those rich fucks own of course.

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  19. David Garrett (6,952 comments) says:

    Dime: Surprised to find you on “the other side” on this one! But then like me, you are a compassionate chap, and you have a mate who has “been there done that.”

    The sad reality – which no-one on any part of the politcal continuum wishes to admit – is that for probably 95% of prisoners, “rehabilitation” is a myth, and just aint going to happen. That said, I am all for ANY kind of programme – starting with literacy and numeracy programmes – that increase the chances of a prisoner not returning to jail. But apart from whizz bang computer and internet stuff, it’s all been tried before, and the results are depressingly similar, across both different cultures and time periods.

    People often misquote Churchill’s statements made when he was Home Secretary – and thus responsible for British prisoners – early last century. He was certainly for humane treatment of prisoners, but he was no softie. Even back then, when prison was truly “hard” on any measure, there was recidivism – closer to 10% than 80 or 90% as is the case now, but almost incredibly, 10% of those who had spent a few English winters breaking rocks in a quarry offended again, and came back for more.

    By all means give these “new” ideas a go, but don’t expect too much from them. Remember, prisoners have on average appeared before the Court 11 or 12 times before they go to prison in NZ. By the time they get there, it is usually too late to divert them from the path they have chosen, or perhaps, more charitably, they have “ended up on”, for whatever reason. If any “intervention” is to work it must be done early, and the earlier the better.

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  20. dime (9,799 comments) says:

    DG – I’m kind of on the other side. My buddy did 11 years for murder. 11 years!!! I used to tell him he’d be doing 50 if i was PM.

    Im all for longer sentences. But yeah. may as well have a crack at fixing em while they are there

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  21. RF (1,366 comments) says:

    I saw the Labour Corrections lady on TV last night. What a pleasant smile. She was spouting forth about the evils of private prisons. She is a complete airhead who is out of her depth.

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  22. Dazzaman (1,134 comments) says:

    I’m all for rehabilitation, when it works. Some prisoners can not be rehabilitated, but those who can be are worth investing in.

    Anyone who finds themselves inside can get to the back of the line when they get out…..& pay for their own “rehabilitation”/education/job skills like anyone else.

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  23. Frankie Lee (12 comments) says:

    ” prisoners have on average appeared before the Court 11 or 12 times before they go to prison in NZ.”

    Possibly then, the answer is to crack down harder on first offenders and maybe divert them from that sort of path.

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  24. flipper (3,941 comments) says:

    DG….
    No disrespect to you, but you and others simplify things far too much.

    I base my view on many long conversations with Satyanand, DCJ (Ombudsman, Sir Anand, and GG et al).
    I regard him and others (like Brian Elwood) of similar standing, as somewhat better judges of what does and will work.

    Your re-offending stats – fiction, are they not?

    Give it up DG. :-)

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  25. duggledog (1,496 comments) says:

    Flipper: ‘What most critics fail to recognise is that the deprivation of liberty is THE PUNISHMENT.’

    Which is why it works so, so well right? Prison these days is getting close to Butlins in the 50s. Hi de fuckin hi.

    The length of incarceration is often so short, and these apes get out so quickly, that their liberty is hardly deprived.

    Also, unlike most Kiwibloggers some of these boys are so tough from a lifetime of being beaten up, shat on and left to bring themselves up by absent or drunk parents that going to prison is no biggie. All their mates are there.

    Let’s ask CCCP if they will start a NZ Foreign Legion

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  26. peterwn (3,238 comments) says:

    There is something very weird here. See:
    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/prisoners-pay-tv-access-education-channels

    The impetus there was to deal with the potential issue of contraband hidden in TV’s brought in by family/ friends of inmates.

    There is a promise of education channels to be funded by any profits from the scheme.

    However it seems Serco plan to roll out TV with education / rehabilitation features as ‘standard’. Seems Corrections is in the dark ages. PPP seems to be the ‘Charter Schools’ of the Corrections system.

    Now if the ‘Ministry of Love’ in George Orwell’s 1984 saw fit to install four TV’s in each cell (one on each wall), then surely the more benign NZ Corrections can install one. A suitable TV would cost less than the lock on the cell door.

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  27. Albert_Ross (270 comments) says:

    Prison: an expensive way to make bad people worse.

    Can we not at least please try to think about less expensive ways to help bad people be better instead?

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  28. simonway (381 comments) says:

    This press release certainly allays all of the fears I had, which were based on silly things like Serco’s record in the real world.

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  29. dime (9,799 comments) says:

    What about the scams the guards run in public prisons?

    How much does it cost to get a tv in? It needs to be “inspected”.

    what about the guy who used to be a guard who owns a dairy next to a large prison. the crims have to get their shopping from there. they pay top dollar too. shit like that that unions love to protect.

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  30. Kea (11,878 comments) says:

    Inmates will have computers in their cells

    After reading some of Red & Kowtows comments I thought they already did.

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  31. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    RF there are no Labour ladies, get it right, they are sickos.

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  32. RF (1,366 comments) says:

    igm. 4.19pm.

    Well hush mah mouth.

    Sorry about that. I could not spell skank so defaulted to lady.

    I will give myself a lashing. Maybe two if I like it.

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  33. David Garrett (6,952 comments) says:

    flipper: I am surprised you think the stats I quote are bogie…I try very hard never to quote stats which are not reliably verifiable, preferably from officially quoted figures…You need to be very careful whenever you read “X% did not reoffend” without a TIME PERIOD also quoted as part of the stat.. In other words, “100% of released prisoners did not reoffend within 24 hours” will become “50% of released prisoners did not reoffend within two years of release.”

    Minimal research will tell you that 85% odd of NZ prison inmates reoffend with an imprisonable offence within 5 years of release from a prison sentence.

    The “10% reoffended even in Winston Churchill’s day” comes from a book called “The abolition of liberty – the decline of Order and Justice in England” by Peter Hitchins, 2003, Atlantic Books.

    Albert Ross: You come up with one, and you will be knighted, I have no doubt

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  34. Andronicus (219 comments) says:

    Incarcerating someone is a serious matter and only the state should have that right.

    No doubt it could learn from private companies, maybe employ some of their workers as advisers, but the state should maintain the ownership.

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