I am about to start a study into the alternative solutions that are possible for people who break societies rules.  New Zealand is currently in a crisis state with the highest inmate numbers ever.  The current government have shown no inspiration or compassion in how they plan to solve this issue.  The proposed ideas are very much the idea of ‘rack em and stack em’, putting more inmates in one cell and creating high rise prisons.  This is by no means a solution that I see will work.  It is often said prison is a ‘University for crime’, so why make prisons less human and more economically viable when these prisons perpetuate a social problem, do not rehabilitate and causes long term community problems.

Of also great concern is the talk of privatising our prisons.  If our government is not expressing a desire to help solve the real issues of crime and rehabilitation, what makes us think a private company would?  

I was lucky to catch a seminar given by Angela Davis in 2006.  Davis believes racism is alive and breeds in society through the penile system, through laws targeted at specific ethnic groups and through  racial injustices in the u.s educational system.  Davis spoke of the need to create a system that  heals rather than the current focus on revenge.  This is a view Ive heard talked about with Maori prisoners as well.

  • My primary concerns are this. Is the  New Zealand government looking for real solutions for the community effected by crime, or are they looking at another money making venture.
  • Will more prisons benefit society.
  • What are the alternative solutions that exists that put healing and rehabilitation before profit and revenge.


As prisons proliferate in U.S. society, private capital has become enmeshed in the punishment industry. And precisely because of their profit potential, prisons are becoming increasingly important to the U.S. economy. If the notion of punishment as a source of potentially stupendous profits is disturbing by itself, then the strategic dependence on racist structures and ideologies to render mass punishment palatable and profitable is even more troubling.’ Angela Davis ‘Masked Racism: Reflections on the Prison Industrial Complex1998

There needed to be “better communication about why alternatives to prison are in the public interest … to counter community scepticism”. Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias


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