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May 2, 2007

Prison overcrowding problems for Kiwis

Highlighting that the US is not the country with prison overcrowding problems, this article from New Zealand details some southern hemisphere prison woes.  Here are highlights:

Overflowing prisons set to explode New Zealand's prison system is five months from a potentially disastrous overcrowding problem, says National's Justice & Corrections spokesman, Simon Power.  "The Government's failure to pass legislation early enough to help ease pressure on our already bulging prisons is to blame for this very concerning possibility."

He is releasing Justice Ministry documents from last year, which show that proposed changes to home detention, community-based sentences, sentencing guidelines and parole reforms which are contained in the Criminal Justice Reform Bill (formerly the Justice Remedial Matters Amendment Bill) are behind schedule.

May 2, 2007 at 07:29 AM | Permalink


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There are a lot of similarities between US and Kiwi prisons. They have a federal system so there are no equivalents to state prisons or county jails but they have a very large minority prison population, incarceration rates similar to our and a similar mix of offenses. The Kiwis have done some very interesting research on corrections issues and I think they have a good staff.

Their Law Commission reviewed the prison crowding situation and recommended changes. I read their report and it appears they made recommendations they thought the legislature might pass but I don't think they go far enough to solve the problems.

Prison and jail crowding is a global problem if you do a web search on "prison crowding" you will get hits from all over the planet. Some of the reports are pretty sickening.

Posted by: John Neff | May 2, 2007 8:33:30 AM

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