December 13, 2016
Collins called out for English translation
A correction for Corrections Minister Judith Collins on new Prime Minister Bill English’s views on prisons.
In a weekend newspaper article, Mrs Collins said she interpreted Mr English’s statement in 2011 that prisons were a moral and fiscal failure as meaning they were a fiscal failure because taxpayers have to pay for what other people have done, and a moral failure because the prisoners have failed morally.
But Kim Workman, an adjunct research associate at Victoria University’s Institute of Criminology, says he was at the Families Commission hui where the then-deputy prime minister made the statement.
He says Mr English clarified his position with the example of a young man whose life was destroyed by a short prison sentence for driving offences.
"The point that he was making is that when we imprison people, we do something that is almost I guess immoral in the sense that we cause a great deal of social harm as a consequence. It was nowhere near the interpretation that Judith Collins has given that comment," Dr Workman says.
He felt Minister Collins was misleading the pubic with her selective interpretation of another minister’s words.
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