July 31, 2013
Prison policy creating crime
The director of lobby group Rethinking Crime and Punishment says excessive jailing of Māori is causing more crime.
Kim Workman and Dr Tracey McIntosh have contributed a chapter on Crime, Imprisonment and Poverty to a new book Inequality – A New Zealand Crisis.
He says as the gap between rich and poor in New Zealand has widened, the country has become more punitive, and Maori are bearing the brunt.
With 700 in every 100,000 Māori being in prison, the impact is being felt by families, partners, children and communities.
"In those marginalised communities where there are large numbers of Māori and Pacific people, and you have whole streets where 10, 15, 20 men are in prison, prison in those circumstances becomes one of the causes of crime," Mr Workman says.
Even though crime rates are dropping, the prison population has stayed the same for two years.
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