Judith Collins and John Key have announced today significant spending in Corrections to ensure ratbags are kept behind bars.
Predictably, Labour has come out in support of the criminals.
The Government’s plans to spend a billion dollars on more beds for New Zealand’s burgeoning prison population shows it is “deadly serious” about cracking down on methamphetamine and violent crime, Corrections Minister Judith Collins says.
Labour has criticised the announcement, saying it is due to a failure to reduce reoffending and will simply create more “schools for crime”.
Collins announced the plans for another 1800 beds around the country, saying that although levels of crime had reduced, the number of prisoners had increased “faster than projected”.
The beds will include more double-bunking in Northland’s Ngawha Prison, a new 245-bed block built at Mt Eden, and a yet-to-be-approved new facility with 1500 beds on the existing site of Waikeria Prison – run by Corrections but built and maintained by a public-private partnership.
Collins said the Government’s plans showed it was “deadly serious” about cracking down on methamphetamine and family violence, with 70 per cent of the current prison population jailed for serious violent, sexual or drug-related offending.
“I’d like every meth dealer to know they’re not going to get a get out of jail free pass because there’s not enough beds – we’ll have enough for them.”
National and Judith Collins has it exactly right. Kiwi voters want criminals locked up. Forget home detention and other limp-wristed ‘solutions’…we want ratbags behind bars.
Labour, conversely, have it all wrong. They have shown yet again their penchant for promoting and advocating on behalf of the criminal classes.
Labour corrections spokesman Kelvin Davis said the Government’s plans amounted to an admission that it had failed to tackle reoffending, with prison musters going up “spectacularly” in recent years.
“They were meant to reduce crime and now they’re just building more prisons and filling them up.”
Davis said rehabilitation programmes in prison were not working, with the facilities acting as “production lines for criminals”.
“Prisons are basically schools for crime, and people are graduating and not being rehabilitated…going on to commit more crime.”
The Government needed to spend more money on “stopping people getting into prison in the first place, rather than locking them up”, he said.
So what is Labour’s solution? It isn’t locking up scumbags and ratbags. It surely must be an extension of catch and release.
No one out in voter land sees anything wrong at all about building prisons and stocking them with scumbags. Better there than on the streets, which appears to be Labour’s policy.
What Labour should have said was that they support the initiative, and the extra Police they are promising would help fill them. Instead they just went with their default oppose, oppose, oppose…and at teh same time reinforced their crim-hugging policy platform and soft on crime stance.
Judith Collins and National are winning all the way with this policy.