It’s all the fault of Corrections, not the Beast!

Roger Brooking blogs at Pundit:

 The media have told us that Murray Wilson refused to attend a rehabilitation programme while in prison. In fact, the Department refused to let him attend.

Sounds shocking, but why?

For many years Wilson was held in Rolleston Prison, a low-security prison with a sex offenders unit – just what Wilson needed. But Corrections refused to put him into this programme because he wouldn't acknowledge his guilt. That's very strange considering the entry criteria for this programme state that “denial or other cognitive distortions related to offending behaviour” are an indication of suitability for the programme.

There are different degrees of denial. As understand it, the programme is not designed for someone who has been convicted of five different rapes, and maintains he was not guilty of all of them.

If Wilson had any remorse at all, he would have been allowed on the programme. But he thinks he is the victim. not the women he raped.

Unfortunately, Corrections was not able to establish a rapport with Wilson. He refused to even meet with the psychologist who wrote the final risk assessment on him, so she prepared her report from information on his file. Why would Wilson not want to meet with her? Probably because she had written a number of previous reports which were highly critical of him. Clearly there was not a lot of trust between Wilson and this particular psychologist.

Oh poor little Stewart. The nasty mean psychologist said some he didn't like. And in the views of Brooking, this is the fault of Corrections and he should be able to demand a new psychologist until he gets one who says what he wants to hear.

The most pathetic part of this farce is that Corrections claims it cannot compel offenders to attend rehabilitation programmes. That makes no sense at all. The police have the power to arrest criminals; the court has the power to send them to prison; but Corrections claims that once in prison they can't compel anyone do a programme. 

Umm, what is Brooking suggesting. That they enter his cell, subdue him, handcuff him, march him to the programme room, and then restrain him to a chair, so he has to take part? Has he not considered an unwilling Wilson would disrupt it for everyone else?

Unfortunately, Corrections never gave Wilson a chance. They seemed to think he had to have the necessary insight and motivation right from the start. 

No, they said he has to have *some* insight or remorse. He appears to have none. To the contrary he thinks he is the victim, and his sense of victimhood is not doubt fuelled by what Brooking writes.

Victoria University Professor, Tony Ward, a clinical psychologist with expertise in sexual offenders has described Wanganui's reaction as “moral panic” and said that given Mr Wilson's age, he was unlikely to reoffend.

”The reoffending rate for very high risk people over 60 is about 6%.”

Is that an offer of a spare room I hear? I mean why worry about a 6% chance of rape or sexual molestation? Never mind that is also a generalised statistic.

This is all so familiar. Graeme Burton committed two murders under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Corrections had him in their custody for 14 years and never put him into a programme to address the core issue – his drug addiction. 

So Corrections is also to blame for Graeme Burton. Not once is his entrie blog post does Brooking even touch on teh concept of any individual responsibility resting with the killers or rapists.

As it happens I think more alcohol and drug rehabilitation is a good thing. And as it happens the Government has increased funding for this very significantly.

But let us not fool ourselves. Some criminals can be rehabilitated. Some will go straight if they kick drugs or alcohol. But many will not. They are quite simply nasty self-centered people who have no empathy for others, and choose to inflict pain and misery on others, so long as they get their jollies.

Blaming Corrections for the evil of Wilson and Burton is distasteful, and as I said I find it appalling that not once did Brooking concede any individual culpability at all.

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