Friday, February 20, 2009

Corrections correction

It is quite true- this department is rotten from within.

Unlike the picture some may paint, it's not bent screws selling drugs, mobiles and favours. That does go on, no doubt, as it would in any large organisation but I never saw it. I guess I had a reputation of being a bit straight up!

The endemic corruption is not at the 'front lines'. It's at the top.

The prison service is the worst example of 'us and them' between officers and management I have ever seen and the reason they are so unionised is that that have such a shit employer.

Incidents are continually brushed over and statistics twisted and misrepresented to downplay the sad state of what is actually going on in the wings. Incidents that would highlight the inadequate levels of staffing are not reported- by management and by staff that have given up trying to tell management.

The same goes for internal discipline. I have been guilty of looking the other way to infractions, as I couldn't be stuffed spending two days on paperwork for a charge then have the inmate get a lousy two days lockdown for possession of contraband.

As with so many government departments, I spent more time ticking checklists than actually out doing the job. Stuff like walking the wing stopping shit from happening. That wasn't considered important.

So, as I often say- if one bitches, one should offer a solution. Here it is.

Can the national headquarters staff- at least everybody who has never done time on the floor. Out with policymakers, trick cyclists and university wankers.

Nobody gets into management without serving their time and going up through the ranks. This was the case once. Would you put civilians into the top ranks of the army?- madness.

The great liberal experiment was to 'soften' the prison service. They decided that it was too authoritarian (FFS!), so uniforms were changed and anything with a military theme, such as parading, badges of rank and service-type discipline were removed.

With that mistake came the deluded idea that inmates need education ahead of work. So funds were diverted from staff to supervise work details to airy-fairy programs teaching fuckwits full of their own self importance to have more self-esteem!

What they really needed, as was understood by those with a practical bent, was to know work. To understand that they got up in the morning, work hard for a full day, then get up and do it again tomorrow.

They also learnt that consequences were swift and upleasant. A hiding down the block and a fortnight on lettuce soup.

Now they learn their friggin' rights!

In days of old, the prison bus had a shotgun on board and the guards had .38's. That was in the days of a much less violent NZ.

Now they have nothing to stop an escape. progess- it think not. Even in the land of superweanies, Sweden, they carry sidearms when moving inmates.

In summary, reform needs to start at the top and work down. There are some damn good people working for Corrections in the wings- at a ratio of about three good ones to every arsehole. Give them the direction, the power and tools to clean up the prisons and they will.

They know how.

The Howard leauge won't like it, but the liberals have had their chance and royally screwed the pooch.

Time for a change.

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