Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A moral and fiscal failure

Back in 2011, Finance Minister Bill English called prisons a "moral and fiscal failure". So naturally, the government he is a part of is building more of them:

The Government has announced plans for a growing prisoner population including double-bunking for an extra 80 beds at Ngawha in Northland, a new building at Mt Eden to take 245 extra prisoners, and possibly a new 1500-bed prison on the current Waikeria Prison site in Waikato.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins said prison population growth required a further 1800 places.

Work was already underway to add 341 prison places through double-bunking and converting facilities to accommodate more beds.

But another 1800 places were needed which would cost $1 billion.

...which is pretty much National's planned tax cuts, up in smoke.

This is what happens when you make "tough on crime" your policy centrepiece. This is what happens when you continually promise to throw more people in jail for longer and longer: you need to build more prisons to house them - prisons where their lives are destroyed, their skills eroded, and they learn to be better criminals. Its a huge, pointless expense and a complete waste of money which would be better spent on health and education.