Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Three strikes (w/ updates)

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  • BenWilson,

    eh? serious? why?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    The idea that three accusations of copyright infringement would result in your Interest being turned off.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3205 posts Report Reply

  • stephen walker,

    would result in your Interest being turned off

    you mean they can deprive me of sex, drugs and rock and roll and the internet?

    OMG, these really are fascist MFers we are up against!

    (woops, didn't mean to personalise it, Russell)

    nagano • Since Nov 2006 • 645 posts Report Reply

  • David Garrett,

    Lucy Stewart illustrates the reality that by and large, the middle class don't understand that deprivation of liberty per se is NOT a great punishment for many criminals.

    You are quite right; depriving me of the ability to stop in at the pub for a beer on the way home from work or go down to the dairy for the Sunday papers would indeed be considerable punishment, and not the central heating and flat screen TV wouldn't make up for it at all.

    But if you are criminal living in some hole in South Auckland with the IRD chasing you for unpaid maintenance, the "missus" (or several of them) asking you to make at least some contribution to bringing up the kids, and bills that keep rolling in, prison can actually be quite a nice alternative - I know this because unlike you, (I'm betting) I actually have known quite a few who have done time! (And no, not just Greg Newbold.)

    Habitual crims are relatively happy with three square meals a day cooked and paid for by someone else, TV 24/7 if they wish, gyms that as Simon Power said in the House that would cost a hefty annual fee out in the community, and being in a place where work is entirely voluntary.

    Have you actually BEEN inside a prison Lucy? I have, several of them.

    auckland • Since Feb 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I know people are speaking highly of Chris Hocquard on the other thread, but for purposes of this one I'd just like to call

    BINGO!

    I'd be more interested in whether Mr. Hocquard's client list includes the very industry groups and commercial entities that have been the most vocal proponents of this "calm and reasonable approach". I'm not saying he doesn't hold his views in good faith, but I'd sure like to know if they're entirely disinterested.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    David, if being in prison is nice, how come people aren't lining up for it?

    You may be confusing tough talk with desire. Just because they have to make light of the burden of being inside doesn't mean it is something they would choose.

    I can understand that some people can't cope with life outside of prison, particularly if they have been inside for a long time. That's quite a different matter.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Have you actually BEEN inside a prison Lucy? I have, several of them.

    No underfloor heating, CRT TVs *and* visits by David Garrett? Aren't these people suffering enough?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Nippert,

    David,

    I can't speak for Lucy, but I've been inside Pare (including D block and the child sex offenders wing), Rimutaka, Auckland Central Remand, and also the new women's facility down in Manukau. While the recently-build facilities have that "new building" smell, they are uniformly dreary places.

    Even in lower security levels the basics of life are rigidly prescribed. You eat when you're told, you exercise when you're told, and contact with the outside world has more hoops than a seven-ring circus. Most inmates are terrified of each other and - as you point out - if they find this place better than home, serious questions need to be asked.

    However, your answer to some inmates finding life better on the inside than on the outside seems to be make life on the inside worse. (Given you seem so jealous of their "central heating", would you let them freeze to death? Which, really, is the only alternative. Unless you want individual bar-heaters and a blowout of the electrical bill.)

    When, really, if you did the alternative - trying to make improvements outside of prison - you'd achieve better results. The principle problem with the New Zealand prison system isn't its lack of harshness. It's the near-complete lack of follow-up rehabilitation. You're thrown in jail, then abruptly let out to live the same lifestyle and with peer group that led you to prison in the first place.

    So, David, why is the recidivism rate so high again?

    Cheers,
    Matt

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Habitual crims are relatively happy with three square meals a day cooked and paid for by someone else, TV 24/7 if they wish, gyms that as Simon Power said in the House that would cost a hefty annual fee out in the community, and being in a place where work is entirely voluntary.

    Right, yes. Stunning analysis that.

    When I was seventeen, David, a friend of mine who was an 'habitual crim' was sent to prison. He lost his home, his social group (they basically cut him off and kept moving) and eventually his girlfriend, who discovered she wasn't prepared to wait after all.

    I didn't grow up middle-class, David, if that would make me completely incapable of understanding anything, and I have been inside a prison. So... does my anecdata make me even with your anecdata, or can you find some snarky way of invalidating my experience? Cause I'm fairly sure you don't know any more about Lucy than you do about me.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Lucy Stewart illustrates the reality that by and large, the middle class don't understand that deprivation of liberty per se is NOT a great punishment for many criminals.

    David, what you're proposing is more of the same.

    That "central heating" you talk about? It doesn't make NZ prisons very warm - people already die from the cold in NZ prisons. That TV, the chance to stretch their muscles for a few minutes a day? The escape from relentless boredom, the only other alternative being to socialise and bond with criminals. For years on end.

    Yeah, make prisons colder, give inmates nothing to but talk to other criminals and form rigid gang hierarchies. Cause that works, right? There's tons and tons of evidence for it, right?

    Prisons in NZ are largely unchanged from 50, 100, or even 200 years ago. They do very little to stop reoffending, because that has never been part of their design.

    And when people, sensible people who actually give a shit about the evidence about reoffending, try and have their say about reform, they're smacked down by idiots. People like Garrett, McVicar, and Power.

    And Labour, stuffed with cowards, has participated in this auction with gusto.

    What are needed are programs that allow those convicted to realise the gravity of their crimes - those that do rarely reoffend, those that do very often do. You know what it's like to see someone whose realised what they've done. Garrett seems to think that prisons are good instruments for doing so. The truth is that in their present state they certainly aren't.

    Also needed are programs that take those convicted out of the social environment and patterns that allowed/caused their behaviour in the first place. Including things that give men their dignity back in a way that allows them to maintain a social status while abandoning the criminal things that formerly gave them that.

    But these programs have always been criticised by reACTionaries like Garrett, because they're "soft" on crims, they cost taxpayers precious dollars. Never mind the billions which will be spent on longer sentences and the new prisons required, the huge costs to society of higher crime rates and more unnecessary victims, these things are "expensive luxuries" being wasted "mollycoddling" "hardened crims".

    In a sane word, Garrett would be laughed at by major political parties for espousing failed policies, the Herald would report McVicar once or twice a year, and the National and Labour parties would actually stand up for sensible crime reduction strategies which work on the entire life-cycle of a crime.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    Habitual crims are relatively happy with three square meals a day cooked and paid for by someone else, TV 24/7 if they wish, gyms that as Simon Power said in the House that would cost a hefty annual fee out in the community, and being in a place where work is entirely voluntary.

    But, from my admittedly limited experience,sometimes these guys' families miss them and they miss their families. It's not easy to maintain contact with children, parents, spouses when the 'rules' are scrupulously watched, families don't have access to a car, children have a stepdad who isn't interested. I see a ten year old kid struggle to write a letter to his Dad because he missed his monthly visit. There's a personal cost here, and no amount of TV and prison food will compensate for this. Recidivism/rehabilitation - we all need to think about this. Excuse me if I'm middle-class, I blame boarding school for my failings.

    Since Mar 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Prisons in NZ are largely unchanged from 50, 100, or even 200 years ago.

    And the SST wants to knock them back another hundred or so.

    This wee book was published in 1764. Still very advanced compared to the thinking of Garrett et al.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Oh, and Garrett, I'm not middle-class either. I know people who've been inside, I grew up with 3 tinny houses on my street and a gang pad around the corner. They've all gone, thankfully, because of social changes in the neighborhood.

    The people who don't know anything much about criminality or reform are the scared middle classes who fall for your bullshit. We already have the second highest imprisonment rate of any developed country in the world. Guess once you're done, we'll be best in the world at one thing...

    And yes, I'm offended by you once again scapegoating "South Auckland" as the place of criminals living in holes. Sit down with Len Brown, and actually listen to what he has to say. None of the policies you and the reACTionaries are proposing bear any resemblance to what is needed to reduce crime in Manukau.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I am middle class, and it doesn't matter shit to this. It's totally irrelevant. I could be wealthy, and come from Timbuctoo and still know that being in a NZ prison is totally shit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10650 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Have you actually BEEN inside a prison Lucy? I have, several of them.

    I have too Garrett,and I'm not middle, I'm all class and of all those in our already overcrowded system that I know/ have known/aren't dead,not one occasion was a ride in the friggin park for any of them.Circumstance (that I am sure you did nothing to help) has often been the cause for mistakes to be made. I keep looking for all the perfect people that you think you represent. Haven't found them. The more I learn about the likes of uncharitable you, the more I am confused.You have no desire to fix anything, just perpetuate your image. Get a grip, you'd probably have more fun.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    Hmmm, I must have been upset; there are grammatical mistakes all over the place above.

    WLG • Since Nov 2006 • 2264 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Don't worry George, I know I didn't check mine either. Somehow it wasn't important :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Lucy Stewart illustrates the reality that by and large, the middle class don't understand that deprivation of liberty per se is NOT a great punishment for many criminals.

    I'll cheerfully cop to being a hideously overprivileged upper-middle-class white girl who's never been near a prison. Funnily enough, though, I can spot the flaw here, as others have kindly pointed out: if prison is a better option than life outside - and that's assuming people aren't making light of it to look tough, because long-term separation from your family isn't a joke for anyone, and you've got to be blind to assume that all criminals are uncaring automatons - *if* it is, then the problem is that people on the outside are suffering. Because, yeah, being locked up for years at a time *is* a punishment - the restriction of freedom *is* a punishment - and if you don't have the imagination to see that, then, well, I honestly don't know what to say to you. If three square meals a day is that much of an attraction, then perhaps we could look at why people *aren't* getting three square meals a day outside of prison.

    (And yes, I know that in Garret's world the answer is "because they're lazy scumbags", but I'm trying for a higher degree of discourse here.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Blake Monkley,

    David, It is possible to exact justice without vengeance. Vengeance does not heal - not us, not them. It is common sense to help people to re-enter society in better shape than they were when they came to prison. Experiences of dignity and creativity can contribute to that goal. We want them to be wiser, calmer, humbly self-confident, with skills for practical survival within the law - and the inclination to make a positive contribution. Routinely degrading is a pathetic solution.


    “The degree of civilization of a society can be judged by entering its prisons.” Fyodor Dostoevsky

    Auckland • Since Jul 2008 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Because of where I happen to live, I've been 'blest' in the last few months with three ex-jailbird neighbours who've been released into the 'community'. One's a decent guy, really trying to make it, the other two live from one drink to the next. All swear they'll never wind up inside again, and all require assistance with such basic literacy issues as deciphering power bills. None, as far as I'm aware, have dependent children, or regular assistance from social workers. Although they're middle-aged, in some ways they seem barely more than children themselves. They're nothing remotely like the stereotype of Garrett's fantasies.

    BTW great post Lucy - impressed that you don't buy into Garrett's pretentious prolier-than-thou contest.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Prisons in NZ are largely unchanged from 50, 100, or even 200 years ago. They do very little to stop reoffending, because that has never been part of their design.

    Well that's not true. Apart from the fact that we didn't have prisons 200 years ago.

    Prisons are very different, and in some areas NZ Corrections have programmes of international standards in terms of recidivism.

    A comparison of Mt Eden with any of the new prisons that have just been built would show that they're vastly different.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    prolier-than-thou

    Well played, sir!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hey all, thanks for keeping it vigorous but seemly. A lot of posts rocked, but I believe Lucy's rocked most of all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22825 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Russell, off-topic but I hope you were accompanying Mr Dubber in his pursuit of Lagavulin post-Blend. You'd both earned it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19706 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Getting back to the prolier-than-thou, angle-of-dangle, I haven't spent quality in side of a prison. I have however been sole charge of a rehabilitation center, as night-watchman. This was an interesting experience, not least because I slept comfortably in a house with people that had very serious criminal histories indeed. It wasn't uncommon for clients to complain that a lag in the big house was at times tempting as an alternative to getting real in the therapeutic community house. The TC I'm talking about had views from the beach outside most of the bedroom windows , all the way to the snow capped kaikoura mountains.

    I suggest, that the chap that reckons he understands criminals and knows they prefer prison (in its current form) rather than life in a "south Auckland shit-hole", because he's known lots of crimes and been it lots of prisons, needs to get his research material from a university. And probably book in to have his head read.

    Granted, there are people in this world that are absolute monsters. But if the Auckland Zoo can improve its humanity, so can the New Zealand justice system. I am personally reassured by Kyle's comments, because one never knows when life might turn so far to shit that prison might start looking like an attractive option.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4411 posts Report Reply

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