Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Perception and reality in the criminal justice system

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  • Lyndon Hood,

    So, essentially, the thing that reversed the steady rise in the proportion of offenders being sentenced to imprisonment was the introduction of home and community detention and intensive supervision...

    Yet the minsiter insists, to the point of personally abusing Kim Workman, that a slight drop in prison numbers can only be due to a decreased reoffending rate (though she declines to offer any direct evidence).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1091 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lyndon Hood,

    Yet the minsiter insists, to the point of personally abusing Kim Workman, that a slight drop in prison numbers can only be due to a decreased reoffending rate (though she declines to offer any direct evidence).

    The comments the minister directed at Workman bordered on actionable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17935 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome,

    I'm sure the Minister, like the Prime Minister, can find a legal expert who will disagree with the other legal experts.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 396 posts Report Reply

  • vangam,

    Two years jail for a personal stash of coke and some bud is waaaaay over the top - especially for a 60yr old guy!

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Josh Addison,

    Is it possible to read the phrase "penal intensity" without sniggering? I know I can't.

    Onehunga, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 296 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Josh Addison,

    Yay, not just me.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4285 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to vangam,

    Two years jail for a personal stash of coke and some bud is waaaaay over the top – especially for a 60yr old guy!

    For puzzled readers, that's a reference to Rick Bryant's sentencing today. It seems harsh in isolation -- Bryant dealt pot to grown-ups he knew -- but I expect his history of marijuana convictions was a factor.

    He'd have been much safer opening a bar, basically.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17935 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    And isn't it ironic the private prison system has brought us 'Mt Eden Club Med'? The Two Minutes Hate brigade will never be happy.

    The prison system seems to have gone from rehabbing those who've done wrong, to an acceptable face of a neo-apartheid system - not of race, but class.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 3893 posts Report Reply

  • vangam, in reply to Russell Brown,

    We should ask ourselves, what causes greater harm to the community - the bar or the pot-den? Seems to me the small number of people he sold pot to would have a much smaller social cost than the thousands who would theoretically frequent his bar.

    Rangiora • Since Jun 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Just in: Contains crime policy, public perception, online poll, McVicar
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1106/S00247/poll-shows-government-out-of-touch-with-voters.htm

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1091 posts Report Reply

  • Raymond A Francis,

    It always seems to me that those with the most to say, on these matters, are those who have not sat in Court and listened to the facts presented
    Well it is easier

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 520 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lyndon Hood,

    Just in: Contains crime policy, public perception, online poll, McVicar

    Awesome self-selected poll amongst the readers of New Zealand's angriest online forums. Still, excellent timing for us. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17935 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I wonder what Hubbard will get, if convicted. I bet he'll do less than two years - for (allegedly) stealing the best part of $500 from everyone in NZ.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4209 posts Report Reply

  • Andre Alessi,

    So, essentially, the thing that reversed the steady rise in the proportion of offenders being sentenced to imprisonment was the introduction of home and community detention and intensive supervision for the least serious offences.

    Without going into too much detail, I've been indirectly involved in aspects of the the home detention process (in my professional role, not as a participant) and I can honestly say it's no picnic. There is a shitload of monitoring that occurs 24 hours a day, and it's often hit or miss whether someone will be successful in even being allowed on home detention. Most people who criticise home d as soft have never seriously thought about how draining it is to have your movements restricted so completely (though ironically, those same people usually belong to the "OMG government is Big Brother!" crowd.)

    Devonport, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 838 posts Report Reply

  • poffa,

    And there's always the chance to be knighted selling beer

    auckland • Since Jun 2007 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Illustrates how stupid the drug laws are. He's no criminal. Just a gentle 62 year old who been entertaining with his music for four decades. What possible purpose does this conviction serve for anyone?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Illustrates how stupid the drug laws are. He’s no criminal. Just a gentle 62 year old who been entertaining with his music for four decades. What possible purpose does this conviction serve for anyone?

    I actually know a couple of people who used to buy pot from Rick, both of them about my age. They appreciated having somewhere safe, discreet and friendly to go.

    Rick being busted has not, of course, stopped them being pot smokers. And all this guff about whether Rick has, in the judge's view, "rehabilitated" or not is absurd. He's a 62 year-old musician who smokes pot. What exactly is he rehabilitating from?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17935 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Elshaw,

    Meanwhile in the US people are committing crimes for healthcare. Way of the future?

    Wellington • Since Mar 2011 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    ...for (allegedly) stealing the best part of $500 from everyone in NZ.

    I don't think any of these charges
    relate to the collapse and bail out
    of South Canterbury Finance...
    That's a whole other kettle of fish
    - and I would hope some of the blame
    may be shared around on that one.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4187 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Could someone please frame McVicar so that he gets to spend a little time actually inside Club Mt Eden?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to DeepRed,

    And isn’t it ironic the private prison system has brought us ’Mt Eden Club Med’? The Two Minutes Hate brigade will never be happy.

    From that story:

    The 10-year contract, which the company says is valued at about $300 million, includes a clause that says the contractor must "ensure meals conform to each prisoner's religious, ethnic, cultural and medical requirements".

    A fuming McVicar said last night: "That is disgraceful. A prison is a prison – you have broken the law and I don't think we have to tie the contractor in knots about having to conform with cultural requirements.

    "Prison has to be humane, but I don't think we should be bending over to cater for every cultural or religious belief."

    Good grief. Is he proposing force-feeding beef to Hindus and pork to Muslims and Jews?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 17935 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Nope, equal opportunity bread & water for everyone.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Hey, David Garrett was SST, wasn't he? And McVicar knew about his past, so isn't he an accessory after the fact? How come he wasn't charged?

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 1701 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Jeremy Andrew,

    Yes, even for the coeliacs.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 1901 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Speaking of "accessories after the fact"
    Key is now telling Australian media that
    Pike River Mine would be illegal in Australia
    even though "In November last year, however, he said: "I have no reason to believe that New Zealand safety standards are any less than Australia's."
    I think the crucial phrase there is
    - I have no reason... something that becomes more and more obvious every day!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4187 posts Report Reply

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