Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 16, July 12, 1976.

Prisons Are Hell

Prisons Are Hell

Criminals are not demons; But Prisons are hell and that money sent overseas could be well used here for criminal rehabilitation and less crowded prisons. The criminal is societys' problem whether society likes it or not Therefore they must be prepared to help and understand the criminal. They are not robots, they feel, love, remorse, hatred and all other emotions. They have wifes and children. Are their children to suffer also because society isn't prepared to help them. Their children suffer in lonliness while "Dad's" in prison, and the mother telling the children lies so not to hurt them! The children running 'wild' on 'Mum' because dads not their to correct them - in the end - the inevitable - the breakup of a once happy marriage - brought about by societies decadence.

"Punishment to fit the crime" is out of date. "Society must be protect" is obsolete. Yes, prisons are still used to punish, rather than to cure.

What is needed is a panel or skilled professionals in fields such as: Medicine, Psychiatrists, Criminologists, Penologists, Brain specialists, Social Workers, Education staff and Labour Department officials, who would be dedicated to the full cure and rehabilitation of a criminal. Probation officers excluded, for they are too biased.

A skilled panel like this could examine a prisoner on remand and make sound recommendations before sentence. There would be time to seel all staff in the 14 to 21 days the prisoner is on remand. The board could also sit at various prisons and borstals throughout the country once very three months or six months for a week or a fortnight interviewing and examining sentenced prisoners. The criminal has a right to be protected from his own, sometimes involuntary, actions

A "Golden Kiwi" grant to a panel like this would do far more good than it does when presented to some obscure culture organisation, which does not earn this country any money, while the criminal, who is kept at $3 per head annually, could be out earning his living. With 4,000 odd prisoners in New Zealander prisons and with Warden's wages the cost annually amounts to over $1 million dollars.

All criminals have a psychological problem, some deeper than others. The majority of these are never given the chance to speak of this, or have it found out why they offend. Because there is no help, they can't help but re-offend. So with NZ superb psychriatric services, why are they not used to their best possible advantages. If it is lack of skilled personnel then attract them from overseas; even if political asylum must be given to persons from communist or Asian countries.

Image of tree branches as fists

There are many problems an offender will not speak of because they are either deviant, being 'big', plian scared to be called 'mad' or 'unsettled' or trying to keep to the prisoners' so-called 'code'.

The Prisoner's code:

I can't crawl to screws (cops, prison officers, etc), anyone who does is a 'Nark", "topper" or has "Hands on his stomach" or "Brown Ankles" or is "Pushing a third" remission.