Guest Post – David Garrett

A series of Guest Posts by David Garrett, shining light into dark corners in the debate around Corrections, Law and Order and the People involved:

Who is Kim Workman? Should we listen to him?

During my time in parliament, if I was the “go to” guy for comment  in favour of punitive sentencing, Kim Workman was the “go to guy” for the polar opposite view; that prison is a waste of time; that most if not all prisoners can be rehabilitated; and that love and a good dose of maoritanga and Christianity will be  more effective than anything else in preventing re-offending.

After my demise, he has had the “go to” field pretty much to himself – which is of course just how he likes it. But who is Workman, and why should anyone listen to him? What is his background, and what does it tell us?

To best of my knowledge, I first met Workman in 2007 when he and I and –  some English criminologist – participated in a debate with  an author touring the country to promote his book. The author and I were the “applied properly, prison is the appropriate response to crime’” team, Workman and the criminologist were arguing on  the “prison doesn’t work; all they need is love” side.

Workman  is an apologist for gangs; in  his view, they are just another form of whanau. Presumably to support him –  but I suspect more  to intimidate the rest of us, including the audience – he arranged for a number of  members of the Mongrel Mob’s ‘Notorious’ chapter to enter the hall just as the debate began. They included rapist Mark Stevens, once known as the ‘Parnell Panther’, and most of them were masked with red bandanas.

The most obvious  effect was to frighten the audience so that half of them left  immediately for fear of violence – among them  two women of my acquaintance. I am ashamed to this day that I did not immediately appeal to the chairman of the debate – former ombudsman Mel Smith – to ask the masked thugs to leave, or at least take off their face coverings. I assumed Smith was in on this intimidatory tactic by Workman; he later assured me he had not known they would attend, and I apologise to him again publicly for suggesting otherwise.

So just who is Kim Workman? He is a former bureaucrat who rose to be Assistant Secretary – Penal Institutions in the early 1990’s. He is best known among criminologists as the architect of He Ara Hou,  a programme designed to rehabilitate recidivist offenders.

The programme was announced in July 1990. Among Workman’s many ideas was that prison officers should not wear uniforms or insignia denoting rank; inmates could wear what they liked; and  staff were encouraged to become “friends” with their charges. The whole ethos was to remove the “authoritarian culture” within prisons, and to develop instead  a “we are all  on this journey together” culture between staff and inmates.

While the programme operated, Many prison managers allowed “family days” when relatives and friends of prisoners could bring food into prisons and visit in a …ah…’relaxed’ atmosphere. In some cases staff and inmates formed friendships,  with staff informally signing signing inmates out for excursions such as fishing trips on the officers’ days off.

The early results of He Ara Hou  were pleasing. A dramatic increase was reported in the numbers of inmates involved in educational programmes. Break out escapes fell [why would you need to break out of that environment!]. There was a decline in suicides. Interpersonal relationships between staff and inmates,  and  among inmates among themselves improved: (Newbold: ‘Another one bites the dust: Recent Initiatives in correctional reform in New Zealand’; in  2008  3 Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology p. 384)

In the end however, the experiment was a disaster. Family days and the general relaxing of security left prisons open to the smuggling of drugs, money and other contraband, which flowed in unhindered. Close relationships between staff and inmates some times became corrupt and – surprise surprise – there were instances of sexual misconduct between female officers and male prisoners. There was an embarrassing series of scandals involving staff illegally trading with inmates, theft of department property, failure to supervise dangerous inmates and allowing them to escape, drug dealing and serious abuse of prisoners who were unpopular. At Mangaroa prison – set up as a showcase of the new enlightened methods – allegations of corruption, neglect and violence led to the firing of twelve officers, and court ordered compensation totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars to prisoners. (Newbold op cit. p.388)  In circumstances that are unclear, Mr Workman and the Department of Corrections parted ways.

Fast forward ten  or twelve years, and Workman pops up as the leading advocate of   some of the very methods to reduce re-offending which  he had already been given licence to implement,  with such spectacularly poor results. He set up an organization – which later obtained funding from the Clark government –  called “Rethinking Crime and Punishment”, which has evolved into – among other things – a sort of anti Sensible Sentencing Trust.

Despite his spectacular failure, Workman established himself – and remains – the man the media interview to balance comment from people like Garth McVicar and me.  Workman is of course much better educated than either Garth or me – a fact he makes sure is widely known. What he doesn’t do is talk about He Ara Hou, other than to use the well worn excuses that the funding for it wasn’t enough, that the programme wasn’t given enough time,  or that his ideas weren’t fully implemented. A bit like those who still argue that if only it was done properly, communism would be a resounding success.

Next: Workman and “three strikes”.


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  • Vlad

    Interesting, revealing, and valuable post.

    •  especially about

      [email protected]

      • Vlad

        Phil, you of all people should be prepared to play the ball & not the man.  He has done silly stuff but his ideas are cogently expressed and worth examination.  Plus, he expresses himself well and can use both grammar and punctuation in a way that allows us to understand what he is saying.  Read and learn.

      • Mully

         Please don’t feel the troll

  • Looking forward to the next one. I’ve long blamed Workman for alerting you to the weaknesses of the strikes bill :-)

    •  reply to vlad..

      i do try to ‘play the ball’.. is just that some people are so appealingly ball-shaped…

      [email protected]

  • Random66

    I personally would throw my lot in with Garth McVicar and David Garrett given what I know of Garth and the above writing by David.  It truely concerns me that this Workman is so widely embraced by the media and obviously at one time our decision makers.  Is there an antidote for stupidity or misguided intentions because it is clearly needed.

  • who is david garrett…and should we listen to him…?

    garrett is a former ‘lawn-order’..member of parliament for a rightwing/regressive party..

    ..(a party that is now pretty much deceased..and one that beat the lock -em-up drums as loudly as they could..

    ..and..funny story about that party…they also preached fiscal-responsibility…and their current leader while mayor of auckland..trebled council debt..that figure again..?..’trebled’..

    ..and there is something about a finance company that has a bit of a whiff…one he was involved in with..get this..!..don brash..or as some call/know him..’bubble-builder’…)

    ..anyway..garrett  was the go-to guy for the media..when they wanted a bit of blood and thunder..and cries to lock up crims..and throw away the key..

    .(.such facts as us having an imprisonment rate second only to america…never seem to have concerned them..)

    ..then..a funny thing happened…and he was no longer there..

    ..(something about a series of different crimes..from memory… would all probably know more about the gory detail than me…)

    ..and now he is popping up all over the place..(btw..has he been hired by those (oxymoronically-named) ‘sensible sentencing trust’ people..? a paid lobbyist..?)..

    ..i ask this question because he popped up on this forum the other day..

    ..trying to claim that the local echo of the international trend of a serious drop in crime..

    ..was down to the success of the regressive penal policies he peddled..

    ..well..he got handed his arse there..laughed out of the room…

    ..and now he pops up with a serious ad-hom against a person who has long argued for progressive/rehabilitative penal-policies..

    ..where he/garrett gets a special groin-stretch-award for trying to claim that this person is responsible for all that is currently and historically wrong with the penal system..

    ..(i know..!..i know..!..and he expects people to take him seriously..!..)

    ..and then..funnily..he admits this person is much better educated than him and that other table-leg-chewer..mcvicar…(!)..

    (which garrett appears to have a bit of a hangup about..the inferior education

    ..but he does have that cliched loud boorishness/insecurity of the under-educated..that garrett…eh..?

    ..and a true old-school cold war warrior..

    ..he manages to finish with an historical-flourish…and weaves ‘communism’ into the thread…

    ..(heh..!..brilliant..!) answer to the original question..

    ‘who is david garrett..and should we listen to him..?’..?

    ..i will leave that to/for you to decide..

    [email protected]

    • Pharmachick

      First off, reading that almost made my eyes bleed. Seriously, it was more difficult that reading a real submission to this:,+molecular,+optical+%26+plasma+physics/journal/10812 

      Meanwhile, since you’re so outraged about ad hominem attacks Phil, why did you resort to one? I *literally* battled through reading your post looking for a concrete reason that you disagree with him on law, order, crime or punishment issues, or even a defense for Mr. Workman’s contributions , and got … nothing.

      •  well..pharma..i am basically making the case that garrett knows diddly-squat..

        ..and talks utter shite…

        ..and so should be studiously ignored..

        ..(and i thought i was quite restrained..i didn’t say ‘dead baby’..once..) do know he has a record of being paid to

        ..when drawing an mp’s salary/perks he was oh so rightous in the dennunciations of the ‘nest-of-commies’ that was national radio…

        ..and calling for it to be privatised/sold..?

        ..well..funny thing..!..he admitted on kiwiblog that he actually supports public radio..

        ..just how many proveable/heartfelt- lies do you need before you stop listening..there..


        [email protected]

      • Tristanb

         Watch out Pharmachick! Phil has unrepentantly robbed a pharmacist at gunpoint. If it was up to me, he’d still be rotting in jail for terrorising so many people and making a man fearful to run his business.

        That type of heartlessness and selfishness tends to be displayed in a less aggressive manner now, but it’s still there inside him. Like many criminals, his only regrets about the incident are how it affected him/

        I wish I believed in God, Phil, because then I’d know you’d be going to Hell when you die.

      • Mully

         Please don’t feed the troll.

    • Phil….getting close to the arse with that long winded ellipsis fest…stop it or I’ll act.

      • titanuranus

        DO IT!

        For humanities sake ,do it. Get rid of this written Tourettes.

      •  You’ve shown the patience of Job WO, but Mr Ure is in grave danger of becoming your Peter Freedman.

      • Ronnie Chow

         Cameron,it is obvious now that Ure is co-opting your blog. I think you are the target , whether it is your popularity or your ability to connect . Ure has neither .

    •  Who is Phillip Ure? Self confessed former drug addict and violent criminal, and habitual drug user, and by choice, DPB beneficiary years, refusing to look for work.

      Why should anyone listen to you Phil? You are an apologist for opting out of the life choices that most of us make i.e. to be contributing members of society.

    • Ronnie Chow

      Swami  Ure , you write as if this is your blog .
      .”…i will leave that to/for you to decide.”.
      See what I mean . You think that you are addressing your minions . A bit sick,really..

  • Pharmachick

    Thank you Cam and Mr. Garret … this post is extremely well written and is quite timely. 

    I have been very pleased to see the wee do-si-do towards greater emphasis on crime and *punishment* in the last few years. I would have been happy if I had seen the “swing to the right” that is so often touted in the MSM, but since that has not actually happened: I’m grateful for the slightly greater emphasis on crime and punishment we have experienced in NZ.

    I’m looking forward to Mr. Garret’s upcoming Guest Posts.      

    • Pharmachick

      **Garrett** SORRY!

  • Its not only Workman of course, its the whole Justice system in NZ that is full of such liberal dickwads.

    I’d fire all of them, and then state publically that the system was embarking upon a new mission whereby punishment would be the key factor.

    If they wanted to apply for their jobs back they could, but only if they agreed to the mission.

    Oh, and I’d re-institute the death penalty too. Shooting by army firing squad. (No need for expensive rituals)

    One of the State’s main functions is to protect law abiding citizens from crime. Right now, the State is failing miserably in this intent. The death penalty benchmarks an ultimate  moral boundary to the system, something that is completely lacking at the moment.

    It works in Singapore.

    • look at that..speak of ‘table-leg-chewers’…and up pops red..

      ..right on cue..

      ..(! forgot to extoll the virtues of public-‘floggings’..)

      [email protected]

    • Mr_Blobby

      A single bullet to the back would be cheaper and send an invoice to the family for the cost of the bullet.

      • AngryTory

        Yep – bolt gun so you only need to pay for the cartridge, not even the bullet.

        But as I’ve said: if you can’t come up with the dosh to pay for your jail time (and probation and social work and and and and look after your kids. family etc) bolt gun to the back of the head. End of story.

        But the simplest solution of all is for armed citizens to deal with crims once and for all – saving not only incarceration, but trials, remains, lawyers, legal aid, etc.

        Burce Ememry & George Zimmerman are heroes!

      • AngryTory

        Like I said: Bolt gun saves the bullet.  But yeah you should charge the family the cremation cost as well

      • Fozzie

        Angry Tory if George Zimmerman is your hero then you are one very sick puppy !

  •  .(! forgot to extoll the virtues of public-‘floggings’..)

    Just what you need Phil, and I’d volunteer for the job in a flash.

    •  i know you would sick fuck…

      ..have you thought about taking the pills..?

      ..those ones that stop people being paralysed by/with irrational-hatreds..?

      [email protected],

      • starboard

        Have you ever apologised to the Pharamacist you violently robbed whore ?
        Have you ever publicly shown remorse for the violent act?
        You believe you were the victim whore?

        You really are a piece of work.

      • Ronnie Chow

         Ure , why do you sound so much like the psychopath in the movie “Seven” ?

    • AngryTory

      There’s a really simple way to see the difference: in a free democratic society, the pharmacist or one of the staffers would have replied with a fully-auto pistol and we wouldn’t have Phil’s charming comments here.

      Whereas Garret would have had his passport application declined. 

      See the difference guys?

      • AngryTory

        And there’s only one kind of apology possible for armed robbery. 

        Hint: you can’t apologize that way twice

  • dad4justice

    I have a good phool whore whip Red. My local chemist shop owner gave it to me.

    • Pharmachick

      Now, now … if we can accept that Mr. Garrett stuffed up in the past about the passport thing, but owned up was disciplined and “did his time”, AND even so still has interesting and valid things to say… then we ought to be able to extend the same courtesy for Phillip Ure about the Chemist thing …not so sure about the grammar and posting style though ;-) [/sarc]

      •  Except the passport thing was just a left wing strategy to get rid of Garret, (who they imagined was right wing) whereas Phil’s crime was a real cowardly and violent act.

        You’re right in a way. It probably wouldn’t matter so much if Ure wasn’t such an irritating preaching sanctimonious fraud.

      • Pharmachick

        Sorry Red, but the passport thing really wasn’t “just a left wing strategy to get rid of Garret” [sic]… David Garrett really did it, and admits to it (to his credit IMO). Personally, I don’t find that his crime outweighs his current opinions. Neither do I think that Phillip Ure’s crime outweighs his opinions. 

        The (good) thing that Garrett and Ure have in common (in my mind) is that they both performed bloody stupid and criminal acts, admitted it, did their time and NEVER DID IT AGAIN. I guess its my own brand of “three strikes” principles.

        I find both Garrett and Ure in complete apposition to the recidivist scumbags that Kim Workman tries to defend.      

  • Northland wahine.

    I will agree with Workman that gangs are an extension or replacement of the whanau concept. Sadly the whanau that gangs replace, are often just as criminal.

    David Garrett, as it has been said by others, voices what many of us fear to admit, let alone say publicly.

    •  y’ of the things i realised when i was in jaill..was what hell-lives most of the inmates had lived thru..

      ..with the common theme of being thrown into waikeria/wherever when young..after a life of being wards of the state etc..(dickensian tales of misery..)

      ..and also how many of the other inmates were illiterate..

      ..(i used to do that jail-thang of reading/explaining communications to them..and helping them write/compose whatever…)

      ..and with few exceptions…most had the potential to be decent humans..shouldn’t have been in there..

      ..what they needed now..was education/training/opportunities..(and no..assembling plastic-pegs dosen’t really count..)

      ..very few were actually scary-scumbags.. of course there were those who were there for weed…(really..!..)

      ..and another of course is that those who were junk-sick need medical-help..not incarceration..

      ..and knowing this stuff is why i get so pissed at the hysterical/unthinking poisons peddled by the likes of garrett..

      ..(and that’s not even going near his hypocrisies..)

      ..’cos i know that in the end..they are no good…

      [email protected]

      • starboard

        youre so full of yourself make me want to hurl.

      • Bobm (ex RNZN and Angry Croc)

        Didn’t they teach you how to write grammatical English while you were in jail???

      • Pharmachick

        Phil, I am not Northland Wahine (but she seems like a good chick).

        Meanwhile, I hear you about education, opportunities etc and i have … ZERO sympathy. Purely based on my own experience(s).

      • Random66

        I get what you are saying Phil.  One of our ex employees commited armed robbery, (it would seem we were not paying him enough!) And even knowing what he was guilty of we still write to him and remember his birthday in prison as we can still see the goodness that is in him.  He was just a kid and a tradgedy waiting to happen when you see what his family was like and the gang influence that is always around them.  We believe he truely regrets the decision he made and the impact it had on others and are disappointed that he did not make the most of the opportunity we provided him.  However I honestly believe where there is true remorse we should find forgiveness, because the reality is we all trip and fall (albeit some a greater distance than others), and we all need to know there is no place we can’t come back from.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Fuck off Whore, adults are having a conversation here.

  • Mr_Blobby

    Fuck off Whore, adults are having a conversation here.

    • yr stuttering..

      [email protected]

      •  i like the second one better.. has a certain je ne sais quois… more emphatic..

        [email protected])

      • Mr_Blobby

        Why don’t you come back when you have achieved something in life that improves the lot of mankind? You total waste of space, piece of shit, tired of wiping you off the bottom of my boot.

  •  “Sorry Red, but the passport thing really wasn’t “just a left wing
    strategy to get rid of Garret” [sic]… David Garrett really did it, and
    admits to it”

    To compare Garrett’s (there- happy now?) so called crime with Ure’s violent selfish and cowardly act is just completely irrational.

    Garrett’s act was a mere prank, a boyish attempt to test the system and it did no harm to anybody. All that crap about “stealing a dead baby’s identity” was just left wing hogwash and Garret should have known that and countered it rather than caving as he did.

    I wonder about you Chick. You seem to be made of good base material, but appear unduly influenced by liberal media propaganda. Don’t ever read them or watch them. It will do wonders for your ability to think clearly.

    •  just to clarify something..nobody was assaulted/had physical violence done to them in my crime..

      i held up a chemist shop while withdrawing from smack..and under the inflluence of about six tabs of tuinal..(taken in a failed attempt to staunch heroin withdrawals..)

      ..the first thing i said to the chemist was nobody will get hurt..i just want yr morphine..

      ..there was a pile of money in the safe..i spurned that..

      ..saying i only wanted the junk…

      ..not an excuse…just the facts of the matter..

      ..but i repeat..nobody was hit/hurt…

      ..all possible reasons i was given bail for months before being sentenced/after getting clean..

      [email protected]

      • Mr_Blobby

        The bottom line is we talk about shit like you, not to you. You are a net economic drain on society with mounting debts you will never be able to repay.

      • Big Bruv

        Still trying to down play the fact that you terrorised an innocent member of the public aye Phool.
        BTW…got a job yet you parasite?

      • AngryTory

        Whale – why do you let crims comment here?

      • Mully

         Sorry, I have to feed the troll:

        HAHAHAHAHHAHA!! Fuck, you’re a clown.

        Didn’t you point a GUN at someone? While telling them no-one was going to get hurt? Why on earth did you think they would believe some drugged-up fucktard pointing a gun at them and telling them he wasn’t going to hurt them?

        Jesus, you’re a waste of skin.

      • Phil…how exactly did you tell these people nobody would get hurt…while you were holding a gun or a knife? They obviously didn’t believe you…because if you told me that nobody would get hurt while trying to rob me I would smash your head in right there. 

        Of course there was a threat…otherwise why would they bother acceding to your demands…you are dancing on the head of a pin in saying no one was going to get hurt…in fact you sound a lot like Dead Wickliffe who claimed he never intended for the jeweller to get shot with the loaded pistol he was carrying.

      • toby_toby

        @ phillip ure:  “just to clarify something..nobody was assaulted/had physical violence done to them in my crime..”

        I find that comment disgusting and ignorant. The victims may not have been harmed physically, but there is no telling what psychological harm you may have caused them. I’m sure you’ll deny it but armed robbery is a violent act.

        And that’s about all I really care to say about Ure. I tend to skip over his posts as they’re just incomprehensible nonsense. Replying to him just feeds his fantasies and gives him a chance to make the thread about himself instead of the topic at hand, so for that reason I’ll try to exercise more restraint.

        As for the topic at hand, I enjoyed reading Mr Garrett’s column and I look forward to more.

    • jay cee

      ….”and it did no harm to anybody” tell that to the mother of the baby.

  • David Garrett

    Mr Ure says that most of the people he was in jail with were illiterates from damaged backgrounds…anyone who knows anything at all about this issue knows that is true…the question though is “What do we do about it?”

    During my time in parliament I got around as many institutions as I could, including the youth facility south of Christchurch which is next door to Rolleston prison. There are programs going on there staffed with very  dedicated compassionate  people doing their very best to undo the damage that has already been done; to get these kids literate and numerate, and with some understanding of how civilized people interact.

    On a strictly “off the record basis”, several of them told me that for the most part their task was hopeless…it was just too late. One guy I recall pointed around the room identifying those who he said would be “in the big house” next door inevitably within a short time. He even identified one or two who he was sure would eventually kill.

    Until we face up to the reality that we have allowed an entire generation of what Laws calls “ferals” to be raised with no morals, no boundaries, and no empathy, we will inevitably have to deal with the results – in addition to the psychopaths and  the purely evil bastards who have always been with us,  and always will.

    The thing is we used to deal with such mutants in a permanent way..Despite Redbaiter’s and others’ dearest wishes, that method will never return. So 3S and LWOP – the latter was overlooked in the furore around 3S but is now an option for a Judge sentencing for aggravated murder – are the best  things we have.

    •  “..”What do we do about it?”..”

      ending the dysfunction/crime-causing of poverty would be a good start…

      ..sensible/sane drug laws would be a good second..

      ..and the illiterate/damaged

      ..but prevent continuing these patters of poverty/crime/ must eradicate poverty..’the cause of all evil’…

      ..and you quote john laws..?

      ..and some screw who told you what you obviously wanted to hear..?

      ..this is yr ‘evidence’..?

      ..right ho..!..

      [email protected]

      • David Garrett

         Oh dear…is your brain so befuddled that you cannot see that I am essentially agreeing with you?

        You are living proof that we were all  completely deluded  when we who were young  last century believed  that even heavy cannabis use would do us no harm.

      • starboard

        yeah weed for all

        free cooking lessons ( bunson burners )

        free money

        whores utopia…someone else pays.

    • AngryTory

      Despite Redbaiter’s and others’ dearest wishes, that method will never return.

      Which part of STILL BORROWING A BILLION DOLLARS A WEEK don’t you understand?   The only good thing you ever did as an MP was not stand for Hellen! 
      Sounds like you’re just as innumerate as most of these crime: where’s the money coming from to warehouse the crims?

      Why should I pay one cent to house & free a crim, not to mention his partners, kids on the DPB etc etc etc?

      Once crims are sentenced (if the cops don’t stop ’em — cheaper still) they or their whanau or some liberal charity should immediately have to put up the total cost of their incarceration (including any penalties) plus a bond for any escapes, infractions, etc.
      If they don’t pay/can’t pay/ won’t pay – bolt gun to the back of the head & problem solved.

      If they can pay – well so be it.

  • “that method will never return.”

    It will Dave, sooner if liberals like you stop making statements like that.

    I often wonder what would happen if a death Penalty party arose and ran on that as the sole issue.

    There are an awful lot of NZ people utterly pissed off by the Justice systems non performance and it’s conversion into a parenting facility for ill brought up psychopaths.

    Parent’s need to get the message. If they don’t bring their kids up right, and teach them it is very wrong to rape and beat and kill, then those offspring are only going to have a very short life.

    • Pharmachick

      you lose all credibility if you start calling David Garrett a “liberal”.

      I wonder about you Red. You seem to be made of good base material, but appear unduly influenced by extreme propaganda.


      • AngryTory

        Of course Garrett is a fucking liberal.

        Osama bin Kenya – the current US president – is far, far, to the right of the most right-wing of the ACT party. 

        In NZ politics we have a few liberals, and a lot of commies. 

    • David Garrett

       Red, I am sure you know that 10 or 12 years ago I wrote a book (not self published!) which advocated a return of the death penalty for our worst murderers. When it came out, ‘Frontline’  – or one of those programs we used to have when we had serious TV – featured it, and looked into the whole issue. They commissioned a poll from one of the reputable pollsters. You will not be surprised to know that  a majority of those polled (from memory around 60%) were in favour. That is almost certainly the case still.

      But my views have changed  slightly since I wrote the book for reasons I have detailed elsewhere. I now accept that even if we had 90% of the people in favour, it would never be passed by a parliament in NZ. If it did, for different reasons from those  up there, the same thing would happen as happened in Tonga for 20 years after the last hangings in 1982 – juries would bring back what lawyers call “perverse verdicts” of manslaughter, and the situation would be worse than it is now.

      As I have said,  although it went unnoticed at the time because of the furore surrounding 3S,  LWOP (Life Without Parole) is now an option for a sentencing Judge in cases of aggravated murder of the worse kind. There are of course advantages and disadvantages with LWOP as the ultimate sentence. But it is all we are ever going to have for the Burtons and Bells of this country.

      Oh, and I can assure you – as will anyone who knows anything about politics – a single issue pro capital punishment party would do about as well as the Destiny Church party.

      •  See Chick?

        He is a liberal.

        It works in Singapore Dave.

      • AngryTory

        which advocated a return of the death penalty for our worst murderers

        Why only the “worst murderers?”  Most people think Pedos are far worse. 
        Drug dealers.  Say someone imported anthrax or foot & mouth?

        And more to the point: MUNZ is doing millions of dollars of damage to NZ”s economy every day!    Now let’s think about the damage done by NZEI & PPTU & PSA! 

    •  garrett said:..”.. Oh dear…is your brain so befuddled that you cannot see that I am essentially agreeing with you?..” agree about the illiteracy-situation..but that is it…

      ..yr solution is to lock more people up for longer..mine isn’t..

      ..where is the ‘agreeing’ there..?

      ..and i’m ‘befuddled’..?

      [email protected]

    • AngryTory

      I often wonder what would happen if a death Penalty party arose and ran on that as the sole issue.

      about fucking time!  Why should I have to pay $100,000 to keep some burglar in jail for a year, or $10Mil for a rapist or murder, when a bullet is what – 50c?

      If the STG had done their job properly, they’d have saved us 10M in legal fees alone!

  •  Its all relative Chick.

    Little Weepy David might be tough on crime but he’s missed the bus on Conservatism by a light year.

    ACT was (in recent times) a “liberal” party my dear.

    • Pharmachick

      Okay, you may have a point about selective politics etc… 

      However, was your “my dear” intended as truly affectionate or were you simply being patronising?  

      Because Red, I don’t think our ‘relationship’ has really progressed to such a level of familiarity that you are able to freely call me ‘my dear’. 

      So I’m going with patronising.

      In which case, did you run out of sufficiently excellent and/or stinging arguments that you have to resort to gender and/or age-based slights?  

      •  Cute too.

      • Pharmachick

        Oh FFS … 
        LOL (out loud, really). At least you make me smile kiddo … I guess humour truly **is** a defense for a weak argument. ;-)  

  • Wwfeatherston

    From my time in Corrections, I noticed certain constants.

    Most of the real shithead crims had:
     A HUGE case of Entitilitis.
     Far too much self- esteem (not the opposite that the criminal-kissers would have you believe)
     An inability to communicate coherently.
     No interest in the consequences for their actions.
     No empathy for their victims.

    They were the ones there was zero hope for. Like a dog with rabies, they should be put down as a matter of public safety.

    • David Garrett

       Yes, that’s exactly the point I was making Sir/Madam…but slightly more diplomatically as is my wont!  You are exactly right on this “not enough self esteem” issue…the crim huggers have got it 180 degrees wrong.  I remember engaging one of the young guys at the youth facility on something..can’t remember what. After about five minutes he said he was going to “fuck me up” because I was “disrespecting” him. I asked him exactly what he had done to earn my respect, and he had to be restrained…

      •  that must have taken a bit of nerve/courage.. verbal/wind up a young teenage convict..while you are surrounded/protected by screws… power imbalance

        but you ‘can’t remember’ what it was you said to him to get that reaction..?

        ..any more tales of yr derring-do..?

        ..and were you also a bully at school..?

        [email protected]

    • Pharmachick

      and, as I am sure you are aware; most of those traits, when present in combination add up to psychopathy and/or sociopathy. Neither of which are generally recognised as  curable.    

      • AngryTory

        They are also the very qualities NZ’s state education has been breeding into the underclass for the last 20 years.

      • Pharmachick

        Careful AngryTory,
        I’m a product of that state education system (from a town well over-represented in the Crime stats no less).

  • funny thing too..most screws were the dregs of humanity….

    ..and as dumb as doorknobs..or slobs/sickos getting off on their power..

    ..(just saying..!..) wouldn’t wanta be them…

    ..and we eventually got to leave..

    [email protected]

    • Oswald Bastable

      Most of the CO’s were of average intelligence. In other words, far ahead of the typical shithead inmate- who’s opinions regarding his own intellect were inflated by various narcotics.
      Most were of the philosophy that you get what you deserve. Winding up the shitheads was generally frowned upon- who wanted a difficult shift? Nobody appreciated staff that made it so, for no reason.

      Nobody liked a smartarse, whinger or a big-mouth- crims or screws.

      Small wonder the whole experience was a negative one for you.

    • Tristanb

      You’re calling someone who goes to work to do an unpleasant job everyday “the dregs of humanity”. These are people who a turn up every day, have annoying shifts, and have to deal with criminals spitting and swearing at them.

      They do this to support themselves and their families. And they pay tax that keeps you supplied with cannabis and SkyTV.

      So your opinion of them is that they are “dumb”?

      Your view of others is disgusting. Like many criminals and bludgers, you have a greatly over-inflated view of your self-worth.

      Do you realise that you may be a psychopath? Yep, not nutty one like Norman Bates or Patrick Bateman, not a rich narcissist like Hotchin might be; you’re more like, say, Liam Reid – just better educated.

      You still can’t empathise with your victims. You still justify it to yourself, blaming the drugs, acting as if you were doing the right thing “trying to get off heroin”. The drugs didn’t help either – it was a selfish act to take them – a pursuit of your own pleasure that you considered more important than the nightmares you inflicted on your victims.

      I think that’s why no-one can ever reason with you. Your mind is made up. In your opinion, you’re the smartest and best person in the world. I bet you can’t understand why we don’t think the same thing.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you didn’t do a Weatherston or a Reid, but it’s the same disease. I’m thankful that your symptoms weren’t as bad as those two pieces of shit.

  • kowtow

    The inspector gadget police blog in the UK makes the point that prison does work.You only have to keep them in for long enough.

    • David Garrett

       That is actually 75% of the rebuttal to the “prison doesn’t work” argument kowtow. It certainly doesn’t if: you get out automatically in half the time; (which is the case In NZ  for sentences less than two years); if you can do absolutely nothing while inside and still get out on time; if there is no incentive to behave well; if you can rack up 100 odd convictions and still only get six months…

      It used to amuse me in parliament when the socialists were bleating about 3S giving rise to “disproportionate sentences for the same crime” – that is exactly the point! If you keep doing the same thing the consequences don’t stay the same, they  get worse. They just could never get it. Not even as a concept.

    • AngryTory

      Prison may “work” but it sure as hell isn’t cost effective.  

      Could someone please explain why millions of dollars of my taxes should go to keeping someone like Phil out of circulation until he is too old to be any threat to anyone?

      • David Garrett

         Can’t answer that AT…except to say that anything more punitive than prison in this country – at least for the foreseeable – is pure fantasy…people ask me “why three strikes? What’s wrong with just one?”  You would not believe the struggle we had to get what we have got…

  • BR

    Two vandals in Singapore were caught and convicted of breaking into a locked railway yard at night and painting graffiti on some train carriages. The were given three strokes of the cane each and sentenced to 5 months in prison. Vandalism carries a minimum of three strokes.

    There is very little graffiti in Singapore. The only thing that matters in a justice system is preventing crime. Putting the fear of God into potential criminals works. Let’s do it.

    Phillip Ure would have had the shit beaten out of him under such a system. He would have been too cowardly to rob a chemist shop at gunpoint in Singapore, of course, but if he did, he would still be in prison over there wearing his criminal conviction on his arse.


    • AngryTory

      No, in Singapore he would have been hanged for threatening people with a gun and for drug dealing. 

      In Florida, Texas, South Carolina etc he would have been shot and killed at the crime scene.

  • ” .and we eventually got to leave..”

    Our bad luck for sure.

  • David Garrett

    Please, no more e-mails!  Yes, I have learned my lesson; it is indeed a complete and utter waste of time engaging with him! Yes, yes, I will stop immediately…

    • Agent BallSack

      Thank you for your views on sentencing issues in New Zealand. Politics not withstanding I am sure many Kiwis feel exactly the same.

  • Jimmy

    the best outcome of a pharmacy hold-up is the perpertrator is shot and questions are asked later before charges are laid against the scum (if still alive).  The law should defend the right of the pharmacist to self-defence from whacked out druggies.

    After reading the above comments from a self confessed druggie and,  I understand much better why NZ is in such a state.  The distinction between Maori and Pakeha health could be a starting point.  The racial divide has been allowed to propagate by the likes of the well educated Mr. Workman.

  • davewin

    Thanks WO for a chance to hear a different rational voice on this subject. Well worthwhile.I think  it shows that until a person fronts the facts and  results of his offending, there is precious little hope or rehabilitation. So the need to lock ’em up until; the wake up becomes essential.

    Like managing a blog I suppose – Phillip could do with  some time in the woodshed followed by some remedial English.

  • Jman

    This thread is a perfect example of why PU should be shown the door. Complete hijacking, no discussion of the merits of the original post. Pretty much unreadable

  • Tristanb

    At AngryTory:

    Regarding your comment about the cost-effectiveness of prison – it
    depends how much you value an ordered and safe society, and the price
    you put on life.

    Lets consider a criminal.

    Phil’s probably on the kinder end of the violent criminal spectrum –
    he’s got many aspects of a psychopath, but not completely disconnected and
    reasonably educated and quite wealthy. So he’s not really the best

    Here’s a hypothetical criminal:

    26 years old.

    Parents involved with gangs, had a fucken shitty life, physically abused as a child – dad would come home drunk and give him a hiding for no reason. Using cannabis since age 12, already mounting up a career with B+Es and car theft and vandalism dealt with in youth court. We know many (not all) crims have shit upbringings – no-one denies that.

    Now as a young adult his crimes become more serious, and he’s into other drugs and thinking about a gang himself. A street fight ensues, he kicks his fallen victim in the head. The victim dies. A good (at his job) lawyer gets him off with manslaughter.

    Two options:
    1. Life in prison – $100,000 per year x 50 more years. = $5,000,000
    2. 4 years behind bars. $400,000 + costs after release

    (I don’t have time to finish my scenario properly, it’s getting late!)

    But point would have been, that letting him out early, he’ll commit more crime, injure others, crash cars, cause unwanted pregnancies and children, (expensive children too, because they’ll be sick and poorly brought up) more crimes (insurance costs, replacing stolen items, increased security measures at home), the dole every day since release. And later he enters an occupied house to rob, and kills an innocent couple – what value do you place on his victims’ lives?

    The most cost-effective way to solve this, would be to have locked up his father in the late 80s/early 90s. It would save a lot of expense later on, and more importantly stopped a lot of human suffering. (And I’d be talking about a 26 year old bouncer doing his OE in UK and being the backbone of his local rugby club.)

    Jails often help people – the people who would otherwise have to spend every day of their lives with the criminals, and those of us unlucky enough to run into them at the wrong place and time.

    • Random66

      Well now I just feel sad.  Where there is absolutely no remorse, 100% likelyhood of re-offending and just plain evil, wouldn’t the most cost effective way be a bullet like others have stated?  The down side is of course that the mother will, with all consistency, continue to multiply with similar bottom of the gene pool types (as there is no shortage) and the resulting children in general will continue to be a casulty of shit parenting and grow up exactly as expected.

  • David Garrett

    Tristanb: That’s a very good post about Ure and psychopathy…Although I know a fair bit about it, it hadn’t occurred to me; I had simply assumed he had fried his brain with various substances. But you may well have a point: the “I’m infinitely smarter than everyone else; the contempt for anyone doing an ordinary or unpleasant job; the sense that the rest of us owe him a living; what will no doubt be his derisive amusement at how stupid I am  if he reads this.

    I am actually feeling pretty foolish myself (but then I am pretty dumb) that I tried to engage with the guy. Thanks for the insight. I won’t make the same mistake again.

    • Bunswalla

      You’re not the first, and sadly unlikely to be the last…

    • “.. (but then I am pretty dumb)..”

      well yes..i thought we had already established that..?

      ..back in that rudman-thread…?

      [email protected]

  • kehua

    I would be as intolerant of criminals of all persuasions if not more so, than most of the contributors on this Blog but having said that I do read between the non-capitalised over commarred ramblings that Phil spews out and understand some of his  opinions. Having some understanding of his past by way of comments it would apppear that Phil has lived and experienced firsthand aspects of behaviour relatively unknown to most who comment here. Just as Whale has enlightened us to the darkness of Depression and the public lack of knowledge and authorities lack of understanding of those unfortunate enough to suffer the same, I have come to the conclusion that putting  the mentally challenged and the drug dependent into a mainstream prison environment is not in the best interests of anyone . Jail should be a not nice place in which (a) thieves, rapists, murderers, fraudsters should pay for the misery that they have inflicted on society. What the complete answer is I am not qualified to offer but I am of the opinion that the tried and failed policies endorsed by the Workmans of this world have shown to be failures and it is typical of the low calibre of journos in NZ that  they are drawn to these failed has beens for comment. Unfortunately the real producers of criminals go through life generally unpunished , they are the useless parents from all demogaphies who continue to produce selfish, semi-literate, violence/porn fed, lazy, socially inept drug fukt children.

    • David Garrett

       Kehua: Good Post. I think it is pretty well acknowledged – well perhaps not as well  as it should be – that there are many mentally disordered offenders in jail who should really be in a forensic treatment unit of some kind. I have seen the anguish of the staff (the “dregs of humanity” Ure describes them as) in prisons trying their best to deal with mentally ill prisoners when they have neither the training nor the resources to do so. Even more than drug treatment programmes within prisons, this is probably the biggest area of corrections that needs urgent reform. But then there is the question of resources… When we are still borrowing however many millions a week to run the show,  sadly this is going to be well down the list.

  • Chris

    To cheer myself up after reading about Mr Workman I’ve just finished watching an excellent BBC documentary “Interviews before executions”,  a programme about TV talk show host in China who interviewed convicted murderers on death row, often just minutes before their execution. Execution in China is often carried out 7 days after conviction.

    Broadcast every Saturday night, the programme was frequently rated one
    of Henan’s top 10 shows, with nearly 40 million viewers out of the 100
    million who live in the province.

    The programme-makers said the aim of the interviews was to
    find cases that would serve as a warning to others. The slogan at the
    top of every programme called for human nature to awaken and “perceive
    the value of life”.

  • btw..there was an excellent doco on maori tv last night..

    ..about young/teenage heroin addicts in afghanistan…

    ..and it was the clearest i have seen in helping explain/illuminate the power of that addiction-impulse…

    ..tho’ burroughs had a tidy/pithy observation..(i paraphrase..)

    “ can be sitting in a prison cell..staring at the toes of yr shoes..

    ..and you will be as happy as you can be..not have a care in the world

    ..if you have taken enough heroin..’

    what you do with heroin is that you subsume all of yr issues/problems/worries ..

    ..into the problem of getting enough heroin..

    ..(to keep you insulated….)

    ..if it wasn’t so fucken addictive/debilitating.. would be hailed as a wonder-drug.. it was at first..funnily enough…it was viewed as a cure for morphine addiction.. morphine was first hailed as a cure for opium addicts..

    ..which brings us to methadone..

    ..which is a far worse/more brain-killing than heroin…

    ..and the withdrawals from heroin won’t kill you…

    ..but unmedicated withdrawals from methadone will.. i the only one seeing a pattern here…?

    [email protected]

  • jay cee

    most interesting people just a point america has the death penalty in a number of states but when you look at how long the sentenced crims spend on death row they actually spend more time than here on a life sentence. so where is the saving? another thing that just because someone does not join the lynch mob  does not make them a crim hugger.

  • Garrett

  • Garrett