In an incredibly naive statement by a senior politician, Bill English has said that prisons are a “moral and fiscal failure” and there are other ways of dealing with criminals and potential criminals.
What are those ways? More home detention for violent criminals who commit property and other offences while on home detention? More counselling for offenders who don’t want to change? More community service which isn’t completed? More fines which aren’t paid?
1 in 4 offenders sentenced to home detention sneak off in breach of their conditions.
Over half of the criminals placed on home detention in 2007 had convictions for sex crimes, violence, and drug offences
Between 1993 and 2005, approximately 130,000 criminals offended whilst on bail (which of course makes a mockery of statements that ‘prisons create criminals’. They’re in prison because they are criminals!!)
80% of young people given community sentences of supervision reoffended (which once again makes a mockery of the ‘prison creates criminals’.
But ultimately, countries that lock up more offenders have demonstrably lower crime rates
It ain’t rocket science. But it obviously is for the National party – or at least some of their senior politicians. Of course we should do everything we can to prevent people ‘graduating’ to prison but prison is for people who choose crime.
Bill English says prisons cost too much. But what is the opportunity cost i.e. the alternative cost of not protecting families from offenders?
In Badlands just released by David Fraser, it shows clear evidence that the cost to taxpayers of not jailing offenders exceeds $300,000 p.a. in insurance premiums and losses, police callouts and investigative time, health costs and lost wages, uninsured property losses, and personal impact on victims.
Here’s a simple principle – if a repeat offender is in jail, they can’t commit crimes. The public is protected. Perhaps if politicians understood this, we could get rid of our car alarms, house burglar alarms, personal protection alarms, gates around schools, grills covering our shops, umpteen keys on our key ring, etc etc.
We need to send Bill English a copy of Badlands
You can get your copy HERE . Read the facts for yourself and see the folly of Mr English’s statement.