Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Crime & Punishment

Open Prisons are being considered


With a few provisos, the idea has merit.

As Sensible Sentencing have stated, this should not be an option for violent or sex offenders.

It should be for first offenders.

It should be for short sentences OR during the parole phase of a long sentence. That is, instead of of sentence-release on parole, it should work closed prison- open prison- parole. The open prison period being served in what is now parole time (or part of)

I have been studying the Finnish system and it does haver its merits. Points that bear remembering are:

That this system has been around for over fifty years.Changes don't happen overnight.

Finns are not NZ'rs.

They are not as 'soft' as may be first percieved. For instance, prisons have access to firearms- something unheard of here!Losses of privilages are more severe than here- in duration and the fact that they have more to lose.

One thing I like about the Finnish model is that prisoners are expected to work and are paid market rates.

THEN, deductions are made for board, child support, etc and they are expected to buy clothing.
This is good rehab training for crims- that they can't just blow their pay or dole on booze and drugs. RESPONSIBILITY!

If this is just to cut costs, it will fail dramatically. it has, however, the potential to work.

What chance is there that Labour would make a sucess of the scheme?

Or will they just take on-board the bits that suit them and make matters worse?

The track record does not point to optimisim...

A plug for the good people at:

Sensible Sentencing

Keep up the good work!


Anonymous said...

Not a comment:

Oswald, do you have an email address? If you are who I think you are, we were colleagues in a sunny holiday resort in the central North Island in the late 80s. You were senior subbie at the time of one of the most amusing incidents of my career. It would be good to catch up.

Spirit Of 76 said...

The idea may have merit, but true, you couldn't put it in the hands of Labour and not have them make a complete clusterfuck of it.

Oswald Bastable said...


-But I wasn't there, didn't do it and nobody can prove it!