April 03, 2018
Waikeria decision sparks letter campaign
Campaign group Action Station says 1300 supporters have written letters to Justice Minister Andrew Little and Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis urging them to stop the new billion-dollar prison in Waikeria.
Cabinet is considering whether to go ahead with the 3000-bed prison, 30 kilometres north of Otorohanga.
The action follows the release of a report last week from the Prime Minister's chief science advisor, Sir Peter Gluckman, that New Zealand's justice system is broken and building new prisons is not the answer.
Action Station director Laura O’Connell Rapira says the community are passionate about supporting efforts to build a more compassionate justice system which prioritises prevention, restoration and rehabilitation, and an end to the over-incarceration of Maori people.
She says while the Government is concerned about the state of prisons and wants to end double-bunking, a new prison will inevitably fail in terms of reducing crime.
The letters included one from a psychotherapist who says the majority of prisoners have a history of trauma and disenfranchisement, which creates the pathway towards criminal activity.
It said isolation is not a healthy way for perpetrators to face their actions and move forward into a new way of being.
Copyright © 2018, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com