INDEPENDENT NEWS

Prisoner advocates oppose new prison expansion

Published: Wed 13 Jun 2018 05:07 PM
Press release - [17:00pm 13/06/2018] - For Immediate Use
PRESS RELEASE: People Against Prisons Aotearoa
Prisoner advocates oppose new prison expansion
Prisoner advocacy organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa (PAPA) is disappointed by the government’s announcement that it will continue plans for prison expansion in Waikeria.
PAPA spokesperson Emilie Rākete says that despite the decision not to build a 2000-bed megaprison, prison expansion of any kind is no solution.
“This government assumes that prison expansion is necessary to make prisons more rehabilitative,” says Rākete. “Prisons were not rehabilitating people before the overcrowding crisis, and they’re not rehabilitating people now. We need to stop expanding on a system that doesn’t work.”
“Building more prisons won’t fix the overcrowding crisis. Increasing capacity now will only leave us facing another overcrowding crisis in a few short years.”
“New Zealand currently has an extremely high recidivism rate. 50% of prisoners released will be recalled to prison within three years. Prisons produce traumatised people who are more likely to harm themselves or others. There is no rehabilitative value to a prison sentence.”
“Too many people are being put in prison, and too many people are being held in prison because they have no housing or social support,” says Rākete. “We need to be releasing people now, and supporting them to rehabilitate and reintegrate.”
“New Zealand needs to review its sentencing, bail, and parole laws to immediately reduce our prison population. The overcrowding crisis is a man-made catastrophe, and legislative reform is the first step towards solving it.”
According to Rākete, PAPA is particularly concerned about the new prison’s double purpose as a mental health facility.
“Prison is not the place for mentally ill people,” says Rākete. “The suicide rate within prisons is 6 times higher than that outside of prison. Prisons are inherently dehumanising and miserable places that harm prisoners every day, making people more prone to mental illness.”
“Waikeria prison is literally falling apart, and it has been slated for closure for years. The government can and should be taking immediate steps toward closing the entire prison, not expanding it.”
ENDS

Next in New Zealand politics

Police officer should not have engaged in pursuit
By: Independent Police Conduct Authority
Targets overlook the 174000 children living in worst poverty
By: Child Poverty Action Group
Guidelines needed to avoid risks in government AI use
By: University of Otago
Pike Families welcome opening of drift
By: Pike River Family Reference Group
New design offers certainty for walking and cycling harbor
By: New Zealand Transport Agency
Climate Change Response Bill – James Shaw Speech at reading
By: New Zealand Government
More unsold Kiwibuild houses bought by govt
By: RNZ
IPCA report into fatal fleeing driver crash
By: New Zealand Police
Targets set to help break the cycle of child poverty
By: New Zealand Government
PM breaks another commitment on early intervention
By: New Zealand National Party
Deepfake and the law - Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
Pike River Re-entry
By: New Zealand Government
Long Awaited Re-Entry to Pike River Mine
By: New Zealand First Party
Families witness as Pike River mine re-entry attempt begins
By: RNZ
Pike River re-entry attempt planned for tomorrow: families
By: RNZ
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media